Sidewalk bikeways a safety problem not a safety solution
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Sidewalk Bikeways: A Safety Problem, Not a Safety Solution Basic Principles Operating any vehicle in traffic (whether on a roadway or a path) requires: Skills Knowledge Judgment Basic Principles Knowledge Rules of the Road Defensive Driving Techniques Judgment

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Sidewalk Bikeways: A Safety Problem, Not a Safety Solution

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Sidewalk Bikeways:A Safety Problem, Not a Safety Solution


Basic Principles

Operating any vehicle in traffic (whether on a roadway or a path) requires:

  • Skills

  • Knowledge

  • Judgment


Basic Principles

Knowledge

  • Rules of the Road

  • Defensive Driving Techniques

    Judgment

  • Applying Knowledge and Skills to Existing Conditions


Skills for Cycling on Neighborhood Streets

  • Starting

  • Steering/Balance

  • Braking

  • Scanning Ahead

  • Judging Speed of Other Vehicles

  • Scanning Behind Without Swerving

  • Driving One-Handed to Signal


Skills for Collector & Arterial Streets

  • Starting

  • Steering/Balance

  • Braking

  • Scanning Ahead

  • Judging Speed of Other Vehicles

  • Scanning Behind Without Swerving

  • Driving One-Handed to Signal


Skills for Cycling on Sidepaths

  • Starting

  • Steering/Balance

  • Braking

  • Scanning Ahead

  • Judging Speed of Other Vehicles

  • Scanning Behind Without Swerving

  • Simultaneously scanning ahead and behind

  • Driving One-Handed to Signal


Which is Safer -- the Street or the Sidewalk?

Higher Number Indicates Higher Risk of Bicyclist Crash with a Motorist

Relative Risk of Bicycle Facility Types Source: National Bicycle Commuter Survey, William Moritz, University of Washington, Seattle, Human Powered Transportation Program


Problems with Sidewalk Bikeways

  • Treat bicyclists as pedestrians – however, bicyclists are less maneuverable than pedestrians and therefore less able to deal with the conflicts experienced by pedestrians


Problems with Sidewalk Bikeways

  • Require users to scan both ahead and behind at intersections

  • Motorists more likely to block sidepaths than bike lanes or wide curb lanes


Problems with Sidewalk Bikeways

  • Motorists must scan wider areas than they normally would

  • Cyclists who choose to stay on the roadway will be harassed


The Skills Myth: “On-Road Cycling Requires More Skill than Sidepath Cycling”

  • The scanning skills necessary for cycling on a sidepath are MORE COMPLEX than for cycling on the roadway


The Skills Myth: “On-Road Cycling Requires More Skill than Sidepath Cycling”

  • The motorist’s side of the equation – sidepaths require motorists to scan for cyclists MORE THOROUGHLY than on-road facilities

  • This often occurs at the same time and place where cyclists are required to conduct more complex scans


The Skills Myth: “On-Road Cycling Requires More Skill than Sidepath Cycling”

  • For some conflicts, bicyclists on sidepaths must have BETTER braking or steering skills than if they were on the roadway


Conflicts on Unidirectional Sidepaths Compared to Conflicts on Roadways


Left Turns


Unidirectional Paths Are Not Unidirectional

  • On multi-lane highways, cyclists with a destination a short distance away on the same side of the street will often avoid crossing the street by driving facing traffic


Unidirectional Paths Are Not Unidirectional

  • A standard five-foot unidirectional path will not safely accommodate two cyclists approaching head-on

  • Who will enforce it?


Right Turns


Right Turns


What are the Causes of the Most Serious Injuries? (Daytime)


What are the Causes of the Most Serious Injuries? (Nighttime)


A Choice:Greater Increase in Perceived Safety but with a Decrease in Real Safety(sidepath)or aLesser Increase in Perceived Safety with an Increase in Real Safety(bike lane or wide curb lane)


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