Almost 700 cyclists were killed by cars in 2011. Children 14 and under accounted for 9 percent of those deaths. To convince more people to use bicycles, we first need to do everything we can to make our streets safe.
One innovative solution is protected bike lanes.
By employing concrete curbs and plastic poles to keep bicycle traffic separate from car traffic, protected bike lanes make riders feel less exposed and let drivers and pedestrians know where to expect bicycles.
Conventional bike lanes—white stripes painted on pavement—do not encourage biking, and with only a thin line dividing cyclists from drivers, it’s no wonder. It is time for the bike lane to enter the 21st century.
In Holland, more than a quarter of all travelers use bikes. This is partly because people feel safe riding on the streets, where protected bike lanes are standard. Since the ‘80s, when protected bike lanes were added to roadways throughout the Netherlands, Dutch ridership has doubled.
New York City leads the American charge with 43 miles of protected lanes, showing visible upswings in both bicycle usage and rider safety. Injuries there have declined for all road users—not just cyclists—by an average of 40 percent.
Are Protected Bike Lanes Needed in Washington, D.C.?
This is a pivotal moment for how Americans think about bikes. City officials, business people and residents want their towns viable and attractive, and they realize that bicycles can help them become so. Protected bike lanes will make the streets safer for everyone—even those who never ride a bike.
If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident with a vehicle, it is important to know how the law applies to your situation. DC, Maryland and Virginia all have contributory negligence laws, meaning accident victims cannot collect compensation if they are even partially at fault–even if it’s only 1 percent. This is why it is so important to speak to an experienced injury attorney.
Did You Know? On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes in 2010.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.