Bicycle Safety Lessons From Across the Ocean

Posted on November 19, 2012

A new article which discusses how the British city of Bristol might improve bicycle safety also contains some important lessons about how the safety of cyclists could be improved stateside as well.  Some of the measures being instituted across Europe should at least be a consideration for legislators here in America.

After Bristol was named as a Cycling City four years ago, more people took to bikes, but more cyclists were also reportedly being injured, with serious injuries increasing at a rate of 16%.  To combat the problem, the author points to Amsterdam and Copenhagen as two cities that have done things right.

Amsterdam reportedly has a bevy of paths designed specifically for bicycles, and these paths are impeccably lit and even offer clear signage to riders and traffic signals at busy intersections.  Copenhagen has created something called a Bicycling Account, with the expressed goal of making the city the best on the planet for cyclists.  It’s a bold initiative, but one that they have taken steps to achieve with things like raised pavement lanes that naturally separate cyclists from vehicle traffic.  Future plans call for better storage areas, measures that create a reduction in vehicle speed, and more.

But in Great Britain, as in anywhere in the world, perhaps the one necessity required to promote bike safety is an attitude adjustment.  Legislators need to realize the importance of safety, and so do drivers.  Respect the road, and respect the rights of cyclists as they travel to their destinations.

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