Mon. Jun 17th, 2019

Painted bike lanes are automotive magnets

Drivers apparently move 1.25 toes nearer when there’s a line of paint on the pavement.

Being in a motorcycle lane did not forestall Dalia from being killed by a Toronto truck driver final summer season. In actual fact, a brand new research exhibits that painted bike lanes could be truck and automotive magnets. It is from Monash College, which beforehand instructed us that individuals who bike are regarded as lower than human.

This new research, lead by Dr. Ben Beck and revealed in Accident Evaluation and Prevention, discovered that when there are painted bike lanes, drivers really feel no have to decelerate or transfer out away from the particular person on a motorcycle, resulting in very shut passes.

Our outcomes display single stripe of white paint doesn’t present a protected house for individuals who experience bikes,” Dr Beck mentioned. “When the bike owner and driver share a lane, the driving force is required to carry out an overtaking manoeuvre. That is in distinction to roads with a marked bicycle lane, the place the driving force isn’t required to overhaul. This implies that there’s much less of a aware requirement for drivers to offer further passing distance.”

This led to some severe shut passes, with one in 17 being solely 4 inches. “We recognized that on-road bicycle lanes and parked vehicles lowered passing distance. These knowledge can be utilized to tell the choice and design of cycling-related infrastructure and street use with the goal of enhancing security for cyclists.”

Certainly it does. However do not suppose individuals on bikes are safer out sharing the street; it isn’t like drivers are consciously considering of what they’re doing when drivers share a lane, which is why the league of American Bicyclists discovered that totally 40 p.c of collisions between individuals driving and people biking had been “hit from behind” incidents the place drivers simply go proper over the individuals on bikes.

That is, in fact, why we want correctly separated bike lanes. Carlton Reid quotes the paywalled research which concludes:

That isn’t to recommend that we must always not present on-road marked bicycle lanes. Quite, the main target of on-road biking infrastructure must be on offering infrastructure that separates cyclists from motor autos by a bodily barrier.

Reid additionally reminds us of the work of Dr. Ian Walker, coated on TreeHugger right here, and his options to make drivers hold a higher distance: go away your helmet at residence or go in drag. In his well-known experiment,

..take a look at cyclists got eight.5cm (three.three inches) extra clearance by vehicles in the event that they weren’t sporting helmets. When the researchers donned feminine wigs they acquired extra clearance, 14cm (5.5 inches) greater than obvious males in helmets. They didn’t report on what a skirt and helmet mixture would do. The writer was hit by a bus and a truck throughout the experiment, and was sporting a helmet each instances.

Actually, the one approach to actually defend individuals on bikes, to actually encourage extra individuals to experience, and to maintain vehicles and vehicles out of the bike lanes (as seen subsequent to this bike lane in Montreal) is to correctly, bodily separate them. Till cities try this, they’re simply pretending to construct bike infrastructure.

St. George bike laneCollege of Toronto bike lane/ Lloyd Alter/CC BY

Examine finds that drivers apparently move 1.25 toes nearer to bikes when there’s a line of paint on the pavement.

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