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.”
For the 1000th time, and with a photo that's worth 1000 words, paint is not protection. 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. pic.twitter.com/CKfxBw6SDc— Pedaling Professor 🧪🧬👨🏼🔬 (@pedalingprof) November 19, 2023
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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