Monday, June 24, 2013

Bike Lanes: What Everyone Not-So-Secretly Wants

Drivers, pedestrians, and public transit users all said that bike lanes, particularly the ones that are separated from traffic by a barrier or parking, are the one thing they'd like to see most. The SFMTA says that segregated lanes are "comfortable for all user groups," while other kinds of lanes, even those with pylons separating them from traffic, are only comfortable for experienced, enthusiastic, or fearless riders. And these "comfortable" lanes only make up about 10 percent of bike routes in San Francisco.
More comfortable riders and better bike lanes means that drivers can relax because they don't have to share a roadway with hard-to-see and/or unpredictable cyclists. There are also intangibles that go along with adding bikes, such as increased comfort for pedestrians, and added safety due to the "human presence" as Christopher Dolan told CBS Local. Other things also go into making a street friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists; the SafeTREC study also said that features like businesses, cleanliness, lighting, art, beautification, and landscaping all encouraged more frequent visits.
You can see that bike lanes aren't just about appeasing the (relatively small) cycling community, but about giving everyone a more usable roadway. The Better Market Street plan looks great, but moving cycle traffic off Mission could backfire if the plan is to revitalize that transportation corridor. On the other hand, moving cycle traffic to Mission Street, might spur an uptick in bars, cafes, and bike shops, on the parts of that street that aren't already covered with those businesses.

Bike Lanes: What Everyone Not-So-Secretly Wants - San Francisco - News - The Snitch

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