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Photo of destroyed road sign highlights chilling reality for cyclists: 'Paint is not protection'

"The only good barrier is a concrete barrier."

"The only good barrier is a concrete barrier."

Photo Credit: iStock

A cyclist from St. Paul, Minnesota, has taken to X, formerly known as Twitter, to post a plea to transport infrastructure planners about the dangers that people riding bikes on the road face regularly.

In a stark image, the Pedaling Professor (@pedalingprof) captured a signpost indicating a bike lane that had seemingly been knocked down by a vehicle.

The sign would have been placed on the grass verge by the side of the road, and if that was struck, it's obvious a cyclist could also be hit by a driver.

The Pedaling Professor suggested that while cycling lanes theoretically provide a safe avenue for cyclists to ride on, they still have limited defenses from out-of-control cars and trucks.

"For the 1000th time, and with a photo that's worth 1000 words, paint is not protection," they captioned the image. "A shoulder that's a 'bike lane' offers virtually no safety for someone biking, especially in this age of driver distraction and giant deadly vehicles."

"The only good barrier is a concrete barrier," one X user replied, with another adding, "Cars should be illegal."

Research from the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico found that cities with protected bike lanes have 44% fewer deaths than other cities. 

Troublingly, a number of the replies to the Pedaling Professor's post were defending cars and criticizing cyclists, despite the numerous benefits of riding a bike rather than traveling in dirty fuel-powered machines.

According to research from the University of Oxford, as summarized by Bloomberg, riding a bike instead of using a car for one trip a day could cut a citizen's carbon pollution caused by transport by as much as 67%. 

The Bicycle Network has detailed the most common reasons why people are reluctant to ditch their polluting vehicles for carbon-friendly bikes, and a perceived lack of safety is one of the key concerns. Poor weather, travel time, and a lack of bike paths are among the other major barriers.

But in addition to being a planet-friendly way to travel, bikes can save you money on refilling a car at the pump and improve health. Cycling Weekly magazine observes that traveling on two wheels can improve mental well-being, strengthen the immune system, build muscle, and cut the risk of heart disease and cancer.

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