January 28, 2013
As more numbers of bicyclists join motorists on our streets, cities across the country including California, are trying out different ways of integrating these bicyclists into the streets, without compromising safety.
While some communities are experimenting very successfully by installing more bike lanes, others have seen success from the use of other bike safety strategies. In these communities, the installation of cycle tracks and shared lane markings, bike boxes and bike boulevards have proven to be more effective in helping segregate bicycling and motorist traffic, and keeping bicyclists safer.
In many communities however, figuring out the best way to promote bicycle safely is an ongoing process. One thing that all communities and California bicycle accident attorneys agree on is that there is no point in encouraging more people to bicycle to work to reduce traffic congestion, if you’re not willing to make the effort to foster a safe, bicycle-friendly environment. Fortunately, many communities are waking up to this realization, and are investing in strategies.
The most common strategy that is being used to help keep bicyclists safe is installation of bike lanes that are marked off. However, in many of these cases, the lanes have not been designed the right way, and many riders may be vulnerable to injuries when a car door is opened in their path. Bike lanes need to be well designed and maintained to be effective.
Another feature that many communities are using is bike boxes, or special sections that are available for bicyclists to stop at a red light, usually located in front of the vehicle stop light. Cycle tracks, which are separated from automobiles by physical barriers, are also increasing in use. In other communities, bicycles or cars are separated by painting the road with sharrows, or shared lane markings.