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FW: [apbp] Re: bike lanes and crash reduction

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  • CT Bicycle Coalition
    CBC often addresses questions regarding the topic of striped lanes for bicyclists. I thought I d pass on this post from Dwight Kingsbury of the Florida DOT,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2002
      CBC often addresses questions regarding the topic of striped lanes for

      I thought I'd pass on this post from Dwight Kingsbury of the Florida
      DOT, not so much because of it's content, but rather the links to
      resources it contains.

      David Hiller
      CT Bicycle Coalition

      -----Original Message-----
      From: apbp-admin@...
      Behalf Of dwight.kingsbury@...
      Sent: Monday, January 07, 2002 8:55 PM
      To: apbp@...
      Subject: [apbp] Re: bike lanes and crash reduction

      Roger Geller forwarded the following:
      >Can you point me to good research/data/reports showing a reduction in
      crashes when bike lanes are installed?<

      All its guns still firing, the fortress of data on "Safety Benefits of
      Lanes" that Cara Seiderman put up on the Web a few years ago continues
      cow the doubtful with volleys of references at

      It should be recognized that installation of cycle lanes doesn't
      necessarily reduce bicycle crashes at a given location, if hardly
      was riding there >before< installation. I was reminded of this on New
      Year's Day, when a man who was walking his bicycle along the busy CSX
      railroad tracks behind our houses (it's the main east-west line
      between Los
      Angeles and Jacksonville) explained to my neighbor that he might get
      hit if
      he rode on the busy 4-lane urban arterial (sans cycle lanes or wide
      lanes) that is on the other side of the railroad berm.

      This is why safety benefits should be considered in a system-wide
      the same is as done for motorists, when evaluating advantages of
      design features for cyclists. In Florida, which had for many years the
      highest bicycle fatality rate in the US, before any bicycle lanes were
      built, this point has been appreciated for some time.

      A piece of research Cara doesn't mention is William Moritz's paper on
      "Adult Bicyclists in the United States," in Transportation Research
      1636 (1998), which reported that the cyclists surveyed (active
      they were LAB members) experienced a lower rate of crashes per mile of
      travel on streets with bike lanes than on any other type of facility.

      The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center operated by the
      University of
      North Carolina Highway Research Center, in cooperation with APBP,
      cycle lane striping as a potential countermeasure to decrease
      riding and sidewalk riding, which are factors in many bicycle crashes.
      the corresponding Bicycle Crash Matrix pages at:


      The PBIC also recommends striping of cycle lanes as a potential
      countermeasure for "Motorist right turn into bicyclist" crashes. See


      A little surprisingly, PBIC does not list cycle lanes as a potential
      countermeasure for the 1.2% of bicycle-motor vehicle crashes of the
      "Motorist misjudges passing distance" type (see
      http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/matrix/counter1.cfm?num=5d), even though

      "Motorists may also exercise poor judgement in trying to squeeze past
      cyclist when there isn't room and they would have been better staying
      behind the cyclist until there was space to pass safely"

      Surely the additional space provided by cycle lanes or wide curb lanes
      would alleviate this problem. According to the summary in FHWA's
      Crash Types: An Informational Guide," 57% of the crashes of this type
      occurred on urban roads.

      In his review of the 45 bicyclist fatalities that occurred on
      state road system in 2000, Theo Petritsch, the State Coordinator,
      that 6 involved improper motorist passing, and included cycle lanes in
      list of suggested countermeasures.

      Broward County has noticed an interesting trend since it began
      wide curb lanes and bicycle lanes in the late 80's. Bicycle injuries,
      averaged 934 per year in 1990-92, fell to an average of 643 per year
      1998-2000. Fatalities did not show such a clear-cut trend, although
      have also declined in the last few years. Unfortunately there is no
      exposure data, but Mark Horowitz, Broward County's bicycle coordinator
      life (he started there in 1987), says it's his impression that bicycle
      has >not< decreased in this period. (Bicycle injuries in neighboring
      Beach and Miami-Dade counties have also declined in this period.)

      D w i g h t K i n g s b u r y
      Asst. Pedestrian & Bicycle Coordinator
      Florida Department of Transportation
      605 S u w a n n e e S t r e e t MS 82
      T al l a h a s s e e FL 32399-0450
      850.410.4920/ SUNCOM 210.4920

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