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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Basic Principles

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

  • Skills

  • Knowledge

  • Judgment


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Basic Principles

Knowledge

  • Rules of the Road

  • Defensive Driving Techniques

    Judgment

  • Applying Knowledge and Skills to Existing Conditions


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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Problems with Sidewalk Bikeways

  • Motorists must scan wider areas than they normally would

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


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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


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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


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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



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Left Turns on Roadways


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Unidirectional Paths on RoadwaysAre 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


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Unidirectional Paths on RoadwaysAre Not Unidirectional

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

  • Who will enforce it?


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Right Turns on Roadways


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Right Turns on Roadways




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A Choice: on RoadwaysGreater 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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