Bicycling is generally considered to be an eco-friendly and healthy mode of transportation. That said, because bicycles don’t offer protection in the form of seatbelts, airbags, or steel frames that surround the drivers and occupants of cars, bicycling can also be dangerous. This is particularly true in cities with heavy traffic.
Cities can take measures to reduce the rate of bicycle accidents by investing in bike lanes and other infrastructure and city planning elements. Taking such steps may play a significant role in the safety of a city’s residents.
How Cities Can Guard Against Bicycle Accidents
One of the most effective ways to reduce bicycle accidents is to create dedicated bike lanes. Bike lanes provide a safe space for cyclists to ride.
Studies have shown that cities with dedicated bike lanes have lower rates of bicycle accidents. In fact, a study conducted in Portland, Oregon found that bike lanes reduced the risk of bicycle accidents by 75%. Of course, bicyclists must take advantage of these lanes in order for them to serve their intended purpose. Motorists must also avoid parking and driving in these lanes.
Thus, protected bike lanes that are separated from motor vehicle traffic by a physical barrier, have been shown to be even more effective at reducing bicycle accidents. A study conducted in Chicago found that protected bike lanes reduced the risk of bicycle accidents by 90%. Whenever possible, cities should strive to physically separate bike lanes from driving lanes.
Investing in bike lanes is just one way cities can protect cyclists. For example, cities can create bike boulevards, which are streets that prioritize bicyclists by providing them with amenities such as traffic calming measures, reduced speed limits, and dedicated crossings.
Cities can also invest in roundabouts, which have been shown to reduce the risk of bicycle accidents by providing a continuous flow of traffic and reducing the number of potential conflict points between cyclists and motor vehicles.
Another effective infrastructure element is bike parking. Cities can encourage bicycling by providing secure and convenient bike parking facilities, such as bike racks and bike lockers. This can reduce the likelihood of bicycle theft and make it easier for cyclists to park their bikes safely.
Furthermore, education and awareness campaigns can also help reduce bicycle accidents. Cities can provide education and training for bicyclists and motorists to increase awareness of the rules of the road and promote safe and respectful behavior.
Seeking Compensation After a Bicycle Accident
Proper city planning and infrastructure has the potential to substantially reduce the rate of bicycle accidents in a major urban area. However, it’s important to remember that bicycle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, even when proper infrastructure is in place and bicyclists have taken necessary steps to exercise caution.
Maybe you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident because a motorist was negligent. If so, you might be eligible to receive compensation.
Discuss your case with an attorney for more information. A Washington State bicycle accident lawyer at Russell & Hill, PLLC can help you pursue the compensation you may deserve. Call us today at 800-529-0842 to get started.