It seems as though cities across the country—and even smaller towns—are jumping on the bandwagon to make their streets more bicycle friendly. Leaders of this movement are touting bike lanes as the single largest factor in making a roadway safer for cyclists. What many experienced bicyclists are wondering, however, is if this is proving to be true.
That is not to say that bike lanes are entirely problematic, especially here in the Washington, D.C. area. Bike lanes have made it possible to help experienced bikers avoid D.C. car/bicycle collisions by offering a small buffer zone between the cyclist and traffic. This buffer has helped once timid bikers take to the road with confidence, maybe even offering that final push for someone to commute to and from work.
The one downfall of bike lanes attracting more inexperienced bikers to the road is the sudden influx of cyclists who are unfamiliar with riding in traffic. While the bike lane separates bikers from quicker-moving cars, it also prevents them from quickly learning how to ride with traffic. Many of the riding habits that lead to Washington, D.C. bicycle accidents, such as poor intersection etiquette and riding significantly faster than traffic, are only made worse by the addition of bike lanes.
That is not to say that bike lanes cause more problems than they fix—in fact, bike lanes provide a safe space for responsible cyclists to practice proper road rules. The primary issue for cyclists to be aware of is that the good habits that one must use while riding in traffic must still be applied in a bike lane—that extra three feet is not a free pass to revert to dangerous behavior!
If you or a loved one was injured while safely cycling in a bike lane, you are not alone. The Bethesda bicycle accident attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins can help you get the compensation and help that you deserve following a crash. Call today at 202.296.0666 to find out how.