It should come as no surprise that bike lanes are safer than merging bicycle traffic with heavy metal boxes on wheels. A new study from the University of British Columbia confirms this and goes one step further by analysing which type of bike lane is in the safest. Well designed infrastructure isn’t just good for better, healthier, traffic flow it’s also a way to save lives.
We found that route infrastructure does affect the risk of cycling injuries. The most commonly observed route type was major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. It had the highest risk. In comparison, the following route types had lower risks (starting with the safest route type):
cycle tracks (bike lanes physically separated from motor vehicle traffic) alongside major streets (about 1/10 the risk)
residential street bike routes (about 1/2 the risk)
major streets with bike lanes and no parked cars (about 1/2 the risk)