Separated cycling infrastucture is prefered

A piece of research, which states the obvious, has been published by Kay Teschke in the American Journal of Public Health.

The article documents that using separated bicycle infrastructure has the lowest risk for cyclists and is the preferred choice.

What I find interesting that this type of study needed to get done, and some of the background is in Peter G. Furth article found in John Pucher’s “City Cycling”: The reasons are hidden in the AASHTO 1999 Guide (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official’s Guide for the Development of Bicycle Infrastructure).

This guide was heavily influenced by John Forrester, a traffic engineer who since the 1970’s was active in the formulation of safety regulations surrounding cycling. He was active in bicycle racing clubs and saw the separation of bicycles from cars as a threat to cyclists who wanted to use the road. His basic tenet was that cyclists fare best when they act as, and are treated as, operators of vehicles.  This puts into perspective the comment by Teschke: “Many, though not all, of the previously reviewed studies found higher risks on off-street route types, but this was not the case in the present study.”

We hear similar arguments advanced by vocal people in the Perth cycling community, and they might be interested in taking a really close look at this newest piece of research. The BTA has always called for the separation of traffic based on speed and volume, as there is little doubt that most people on bicycles feel safer when they do not have to share the roads with cars travelling over 30kmh.

The article is also discussed by Alan Davies in Crikey, and sensibly he focuses on the contents and findings…..

About Heinrich

Promoting everyday cycling