Everyone who has ridden a bike through D.C. knows how scary it can be to traverse the local roadways in heavy traffic. Similarly, everyone who has driven a car in D.C. knows how nerve-wracking it can be to share the congested roadways with cyclists and pedestrians who at times seem to come out of nowhere.
The solution to this problem is to create more safe spaces for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists alike. By some estimates, bicycling has grown by about 450% in the last decade in D.C. This means it is increasingly important for local roadways to accommodate the surging cyclist population. The best way to do this is for the local governments to create more dedicated bicycle lanes.
The first major academic study of protected bike lanes was conducted in 2014 by Portland State University’s National Institute of Transportation and Communities. The 179-page study is based on 204 hours of video footage of the movement patterns of 16,000 people on bicycles and 20,000 turning cars. It also used data from thousands of surveys. Researchers studied protected bike lanes in five cities – Portland, Austin, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. In fact, the study analyzed the dedicated bike lane on L Street, N.W., something the attorneys at Grenier Law Group can see from our own office windows! Here are some of the findings specific to the L Street protected bike lane:
- Residents stated that the safety of bicycling increased 80% because of the bike lane;
- Residents stated that the safety of driving increased 30% because of the bike lane; and
- Residents stated that the safety of walking increased 27% because of the bike lane.
In 144 hours of video analyzed for safety across all cities in the study, the authors observed no collisions or near collisions. This included both intersections with turn lanes and those with signals for bicycles.
The bicycle accident lawyers at Grenier Law Group support improved infrastructure for cyclists on local roadways in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Peter T. Anderson at 202-768-9609 or firstname.lastname@example.org.