A bike lane is a designated area for cyclists that is marked with paint and a bike icon. But a protected bike lane is physically divided from motorways by barriers such as delineator posts, concrete barriers, bollards, and more.
There are many reasons why cities should have more protected bike lanes: they encourage more people to bike for local trips, and in doing so, decrease the congestion on the roads. Protected bike lanes have many benefits to both drivers and cyclists, but the question is, how can protected bike lanes benefit everyone in society including those who don’t drive?
Are Pathway to Great Health
It is hard to ignore the health benefits of building protected bike lanes. Riding a bike is an excellent way to burn calories and clear one’s mind without worrying about those regular morning runs. Protected bike lanes would double or even triple the number of riders on the roads. This will lead to an increase in both physical and mental health including reducing the incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer, easing the burden of healthcare on taxpayers. Not to mention, a healthier citizen means increased production.
Leads to a Cool and Cleaner Planet
The negative impact of urban road traffic is primarily on air quality, the ecosystem, and the level of noise. As the number of motor vehicles on our roads continues to rise, human health and the environment have been greatly affected. It is estimated that motor vehicles account for up to 80% of emissions in major cities. Having protected bike lanes encourages more cyclers on our roads. Every trip made by a bike takes a motor vehicle off the roads. Thousands of vehicles away from the roads will greatly reduce emissions and global warming, and improve the air we breathe.
Improve the Local Business
Protected bike lanes tend to stir up controversy in the same way that reflectors do — especially when they replace street parking. The loudest laments mostly come from ground-floor merchants, who understandably fear a drop in revenue from shoppers arriving by car. However, researchers discovered that replacing street parking with protected bike lanes has no negative impact on business and, in many cases, has a positive impact. People who bike to shops spend less time per visit compared to those who drive. Customers will avoid stores if driving to them is a nightmare.
Lead to Fairer Cities
The most valuable resource in any city is shared road space. People with motor vehicles hog most of this space. Some of them even park on sidewalks and parking designated for cyclists blocking cyclists and pedestrians. A lot of resources are used in any city to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. Cyclists and pedestrians are left with no choice but to utilize the remaining space. Constructing Protected bike lanes will ensure fair sharing of the road space and reduce road accidents since pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable on the road.
Adding bike lanes to roads reduces the risk of injury and increases the likelihood of ridership, which increases physical activity and reduces pollution from the vehicles riders would otherwise use. The bottom line is, everything a well-designed protected bike lane represents is positive. It is a path to better health and development. It aids in the fight against climate change and pollution. It boosts the local economy. It also makes cities more fair, equal, and safe for all citizens. Talking to your elected officials will help encourage the development of more protected bike lanes.
For more information on protected bike lane safety, please contact TerraCast or visit our website to browse our collection of durable resin-based planters and bollards.