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How can bicycle infrastructure protect cyclists?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2023 | Bike & Pedestrian Accidents

Riding a bicycle has not only become an increasingly popular leisure activity in recent years but also a healthy and eco-friendly choice of transport among commuters. Unfortunately, traveling on two wheels alongside enclosed vehicles still leaves cyclists vulnerable to accidents.

However, a nationwide report reveals that besides education, evaluation and planning, and traffic laws or policies, infrastructure can result in a safe cycling experience on the road. 

Examples of cycling infrastructure

California ranks fourth in the most bicycle-friendly states, earning high marks on its cycling infrastructure. This finding shows how the states can focus on a range of physical accommodations designed to protect cyclists while on the road.

Some common examples include:

  • Dedicated paths with painted lines for increased space between bikers and vehicle drivers
  • Protected lanes with barriers, such as medians, bollards and raised curbs
  • Traffic calming devices, such as speed humps or speed-reducing chicanes
  • Signalized intersection treatments, such as adding bike boxes and tunnels
  • Shared-use streets with clear signage indicating that cyclists and motorists must respect each other’s right to use such roadways

California’s extensive bicycle and pedestrian plan can show how authorities and field partners can join forces to boost efforts. The project aims to reduce severe collisions, increase mobility among cyclists and walkers, create a high-quality transportation system and invest resources for transport-dependent groups.

Reasons to support effective cycling infrastructure

Bicycle safety is a collective pursuit. Designers and local governments have the skills and power to develop and execute plans to keep cyclists safe. However, suppose other drivers do not support the cause and crashes still happen. In that case, injured parties may require a legal team. While not impossible, the fight to recover financial relief may be an uphill battle.

On the other hand, knowing that a detailed infrastructure plan is in effect can help promote bikers’ confidence. It can also keep other people using the road safe from harm. Further, it can ease traffic jams that can cause severe wrecks and complex legal actions.