Statistics say 81% of cyclists are more comfortable riding their bikes in protected bike lanes. As per the reports of National Association of City Transport Officials proper bike lanes increase number of bikers and reduce injuries.
Here are the reasons for having more protected bike lanes:
- Helps in keeping people healthy
When the number of bike lanes increase, more people prefer riding bikes. This is clear from the fact that in countries Spain and Toronto have seen the number of bikers increased with the increase in protected lanes. When more people ride bicycles, it has a positive effect on their health. What better way to exercise than cycling? People can keep in shape by burning the extra calories. There are several countries where increase in bike lanes helped control obesity and in turn helped in keeping away diseases.
- Helps in preventing global warming and environmental pollution
We all know that when you travel by car you add CO2 to the air which traps heat and results in global warming. But in case of bicycles there is no emission of CO2 and hence bikes help in preventing global warming. Bicycles do not cause air pollution. They keep the air clean. People get cleaner air to breathe which also ensures better health and this is definitely one of the best ways to protect Nature.
- Motivates people
When the government of a country invests in more bike lanes it motivates people to ride bicycles. It makes bikers feel that they are as important as the people driving cars. Cities like Los Angeles, New York found a huge increase in the number of people riding bikes once they introduced more bike lanes. In New Orleans a whopping 58% people opted for biking once more protected bike lanes were introduced.
- Safer option
Invariably it is the people riding bicycles who get crushed to death or injured in road accidents. The insane traffic and fast moving cars make it unsafe for a person to ride a bicycle, especially in peak hours. But when dedicated bike lanes are provided to these bikers they are safer. The percentage of injuries and fatalities reduces with more bike lanes.
- Good for the economy
It has been found that increase in the number of bike lanes actually helped in boosting business. In places like Manhattan and Portland, an introduction of more bike lanes helped retailers do better business. With less traffic congestion and better air to breathe people actually prefer going shopping. This naturally helps in boosting the local economy.
- Better for motorist and pedestrians
Protected bike lanes make driving easier for motorists. The new road designs have given motorists the options of better turns and better space. Protected bike lanes actually help in reducing traffic jams and make the drivers’ life much better. Not only motorists but also pedestrians are safer with more bike lanes and better infrastructure. Pedestrian injuries were reduced considerably in Manhattan with the introduction of more bike lanes.
- Fair division of road space
The most valuable resource of any city is its road space. In almost all cities it is found that most of the road space is occupied by four wheelers. Whatever leftover space is available is occupied by the bikers and the pedestrians. Therefore, more protected bike lanes will ensure fair distribution of road space between the motorists, bikers and pedestrians. This will also make commuting safer.
The world definitely needs more protected bike lanes as it helps in keeping people healthy and also keeps environmental pollution at bay. Better infrastructure ensures people of better safety and is also useful for the local economy.