Roads with bicycling lanes have been shown to be safer than those without. A study by William E Moritz, professor emeritus of the University of Washington, found that streets with bike lanes have a "significantly lower" crash rate than roads without bike lanes or signage.
Engineers at the University of Texas at Austin found that bike lanes are safer for motorists as well. They discovered that drivers don't move outside of their lane as often when passing cyclists if bike lanes are present.
Bicycling lanes should always be on the right side of the road and carry cyclists in the same direction as the adjacent car lane, according to bicyclinginfo.org. The site recommends that lanes be at least 4 feet wide on roads with no curb and gutter and 5 feet wide when a bike lane is adjacent to parking.
Bicyclinginfo.org lists several innovations regarding bike lanes, including lanes in which bikes travel against traffic in special circumstances, colored bike lanes and lanes shared between bikes and buses.
Riding in a bicycle lane should not lull you into a false sense of security. Always be on the lookout for motorists, particularly if a right turn merges with the bike lane, and obey traffic laws.
Article Written By Shane Farver
Shane Farver is a former newspaper reporter looking to immerse himself in freelance writing. Farver's interests lie particularly in writing about the outdoors and recreation, but he has a solid background of writing about politics, crime, and military issues. Being a former college instructor, he also enjoy writing pedagogical articles.