Here in Toronto, bike lanes are continually a hot topic of conversation, but in this we are not unique. In urban spaces the world over, cyclists and drivers often go head-to-head over the question of sharing road space. Perhaps new findings from the University of Colorado Denver, detailed in an article by ConsumerAffairs, will change all that, however.
"... researchers from the University of Colorado Denver found that when cities implement cycling lanes, all road users -- pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists --- are safer."
The study suggests that bike lanes can have a huge impact on making roads safer for all road users, not just cyclists. The numbers truly are astonishing, with research showing that Portland, Oregon, for example, had a 75% reduction in fatalities on the roads over the course of 20 years of increasing bike lanes.
For many, this runs contrary to what we think about bike lanes, thinking that has been informed by years of contested space. But if the results of this study are any indication, it may be time to make peace with the bike lane - for everyone's safety.
A more in-depth interview with those behind the study can be found at ConsumerAffairs.