With the increase of bike lanes in the cities there are groups of sceptic people that have begun to argue about the cons of this infrastructure. They use arguments such as: “taking street space away from cars would slow down traffic”; “bike lanes create traffic chaos and gridlock increasing the amount of pollution”; “those lanes are empty out of rush hours”; etc. Do you think that this is true?
Bike lanes create traffic, is that true?
A report [PDF] made by the Department of Transportation of New York City, shows that on the streets that have been redesigned with protected bike lanes, travel times have been reduced. Apart form other benefits that this cycle lanes offer.
These dedicated lanes made cyclist to leave the regular road and cycle over the bike lane, which is a safer option. So this accelerates the road traffic because each road user has its own space, and the mobility is much more fluent.
Moreover, offering safe bike lanes to the citizens would encourage them to use the bicycle instead of their private vehicles for daily short commutes; this would reduce the amount of cars on the road, leading to a bigger fluency. The bikes are the solution, not the problem.
Other benefits of the bike lanes.
For pedestrians: bike lanes make walking safer, because they reduce the crosswalks and make crossing more visible for drivers. On the streets where a bike lane has been constructed, the pedestrian injuries have decreased 22%.
For cyclists: the ride is much safer, for example, on the 9th Avenue in New York City, there are 65% less of cyclist injuries since the creation of the bike lane. Moreover, there are much more bikes on the street.
For businesses: it has been shown that in streets where a bike lane has been implemented there are more retail sales, new jobs are created, and are more tourists walking through these streets.
ZICLA and the protected bike lanes.
At ZICLA we have developed two systems to create protected bike lanes and provide security for all the road users. The first one is the Zebra® family, which is compound by the separator and the planter that maximizes safety for cyclists in the cycle lane thanks to its original, robust design, and reflective strips. The second one is the Zipper® system, which is a modular system for segregating traffic flows formed by two high-visibility pieces with reflective strips.