Here’s a fascinating article on the rise of protected bike lanes in cities across this country.
What I found particularly fascinating was the look back on how the whole “vehicular cycling movement” began in the 1970s when a California engineer, John Forester, proposed that it was best if the bicyclist rode in traffic just like another vehicle.
Forester’s ideas have been followed in this country for the last 40+ years but they haven’t increased the number of people bicycling. In this country that number hovers around 1%, if that high. In Denmark it’s around 16% and in the Netherlands it’s around 27% in the entire country and 57% in their cities.
And the reason is that Forester’s idea is not appealing to a vast majority of the population that might consider hopping on their bicycle to take a short jaunt but simply don’t feel safe riding in traffic.
So it’s encouraging that protected bike lanes are becoming more prevalent and I have no doubt that when people feel safer more of them will get on their bike. I know I would.