CycleKyoto HP LInk

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kyoto Bicycle Lanes

Bike Lane Kyoto京都自転車専用レーン

A wonderful article in Atlantic Cities shows that dedicated bicycle lanes can cut injuries.

As the article notes, "major city street with parked cars and no bike lanes is just about the most dangerous place you could ride a bike. All the big threats are there: open car doors, bad parallel parkers, passing cabs and public transit. This is not a particularly novel scientific revelation, although research has found it to be true. Things get more interesting when we compare this bad-biking baseline to infrastructure actually intended to accommodate cyclists."

Research from Canada has looked at 14 route types and the likelihood of a serious bike injury. And, drum roll, infrastructure is very important in determining that.

The chance of injury drops by about 50 percent when riding on a similar road with a bike lane and no parked cars. Similarly, the same result is true on bike paths and local streets with designated bike routes. Last, and most important, "protected bike lanes – with actual barriers separating cyclists from traffic – really make a difference. The risk of injury drops for riders there by 90 percent."

Pictured above is an example of a downtown bike "lane" in Kyoto. The lane is the 18 inch (?) wide slice of pavement between the white and reddish lines.

Come on Kyoto! How about a few more real dedicated bicycle lanes!


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