The presence of bicycle lanes is increasing in our cities: if a few years ago it was practically unthinkable to be able to move in the big cities with the bicycle, today we can do it more or less safely thanks to these specific lanes for cyclists.
In addition, some cities have long offered the service of renting bicycles for citizens, something that has encouraged the use of the bicycle to make short journeys.
According to a Columbia University study conducted on New York City, the bike path to be the most effective way to improve public health : the one that reports a higher benefit with a lower investment. Is it all pink? Let’s look at the pros and cons of this system.
Great benefits at a low price
One of the greatest benefits we can derive from the construction of bike lanes is that they make a “call effect” on those who have not yet decided to use the bicycle as a means of urban transportation. According to the study cited above, the 45.5-mile bike lane built in New York during 2015 (costing eight million dollars) made the probability of using the bike as a means of transport to grow by 9%.
Greater use of the bicycle, thanks in part to the bike lanes, is directly related to an improvement of the health in the society since it supposes a less polluted air in the city and the inclusion of the physical exercise like a daily habit in the life Of many people.
On the other hand, the investment in bike lane is aimed at a huge potential audience (in cities we can see how people of all ages and social classes move on a bike every day) and can improve various health problems.
What are the risks?
Are there people that the bike path, as it is designed right now, does not convince them ? So is. We may at first seem a bit strange this position, but knowing their reasons we can see that they are quite reasonable.
There is a group of cyclists who demand a new design of the bike lane in the cities , since the current one (that disappears in the zones of zebras steps and intersections of streets) can be dangerous for the cyclists.
In the blog Barcelona by bike you can see some examples of bike lanes with different designs to those that exist in at the moment and that would preserve the integrity of the cyclists in the intersections, where they usually produce the most accidents.
What do you think of the bike lane and its use in the cities? Do you think it can help improve the health of society? Is it possible that you need a redesign?