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Why Bicycle Share Programs Increase Safety

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A number of cities around the in the country, including some in California now have bike share programs in place. These programs generate more interest in bicycling, and also appeal to bicycle enthusiasts. Statistics from around the country indicate that persons who use these bike share programs are much less likely to be involved in accidents, injuries or fatalities, compared to those who use their own bicycles.

It is a fitting reply to critics who believe that bike check programs simply increase the number of bicyclists in a city, and therefore increase the number of accidents involving bicyclist. Critics of bicycle share programs around the country have always argued that American cities lack bicycle safety infrastructure, and therefore, encouraging bike share programs would simply increase accident risks.

However, their fears have not come true at all. In the cities where bike share programs have been launched, the safety rate has been very impressive. Bicyclists who bike in these programs are believed to have a lower rate of accidents, injuries and fatalities, compared to those who are not using these bikes.

In California, Anaheim was the first city to have a bike sharing program. Across the country, several cities including Boston, New York and Seattle have their own programs, which have been very successful. Studies seem to indicate that people who ride bicycles in a bike share program are very often novice bicyclists who follow all traffic safety rules.

Bicycles that are available in a bike share program tend to be more visible to motorists, because of their unique design. They're also designed to reduce the risk of excessive speeds. In other words, these are safer bicycles operated by bicyclists who are usually new to bicycling, and are therefore much more likely to avoid busy streets. Therefore, bicycle share programs actually contribute to a safer bicycling environment in a city.


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