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June 19, 2011


Joey Jo-Jo

Very well said, Bill. Thanks for the article.

I'm of the firm belief that the only thing that really makes cycling safer is more cyclists, because the more cyclists there are on the road, the more drivers will expect us and look out for us.

Bike lanes themselves (segregated or otherwise) will not actually make us safer, because you're always going to interact with cars at some point, and if they aren't expecting you, it can turn out badly. (This is why biking on sidewalks is usually more dangerous than cycling on the road - the Toronto bike-car collision report proves that pretty clearly.)

That said, bike lanes seem to make people *feel* safer, which encourages them to bike more... they do make us all safer indirectly. They're like an amazingly effective placebo!


In keeping with what Joey said, we need more segregated cycling infrastructure to draw people out on bikes who would otherwise be afraid to do so. You can't just build up a critical mass of cyclists for safety simply by wishing it. But give people the feeling that they are safe, through well-planned infrastructure, and they will come out in droves.

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Bill Bean

  • North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself.

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