Bike Lanes Are Inadequate

I’ve noticed that more bike lanes are popping up around town. I think that’s generally a good thing. My attitude is, if I stay in my lane and motor vehicles stay in their lane, we should have no problem.

Of course, we’ve all had experiences with drivers who can’t seem to control their vehicles and cross into the bike lane from time to time. In addition, bike lanes tend to become repositories of broken glass, gravel, and other debris that can make riding there hazardous.

Still, if I have the option to use a bike lane, I generally take it.

But during the week, my attention was drawn to an interesting collection of infographics regarding bike lane design. In essence, the infographics suggest that a three-foot wide bike lane is inadequate to meet the safety needs of cyclists. They’re part of a web site called “I Am Traffic,” whose stated goal is to achieve equal status for bikes with other vehicles on the road. Some of their information is new to me, and quite thought-provoking. Here’s a sample:


Click the image to enlarge.

To see the whole collection of infographics, and get an in-depth dose of cycling infrastructure ideals, visit I Am Traffic.


  1. says

    I’m not a big fan of bike lanes, but like the fact that they send a message to drivers that I’m supposed to be there.

    From my daily commuting experience (at least in Springfield, MO), riding in the middle of the bike lane is an invitation to be passed much too closely. Most of ours are the standard 36″ variety, so if a driver thinks I’m in my space and they can have theirs, they end up passing very closely. If I ride on or very close to that white line, drivers give me much more space when passing. I look at it as asserting myself to stay safe.

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