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3 Reasons People Donít Bike That Policymakers Should Pay Attention To

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3 Reasons People Donít Bike That Policymakers Should Pay Attention To

Old 10-07-22, 09:37 PM
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3 Reasons People Donít Bike That Policymakers Should Pay Attention To

3 Reasons People Donít Bike That Policymakers Should Pay Attention To

In perhaps the most comprehensive literature review on the topic to date, researchers at Monash University in Australia analyzed thousands of international studies of why people ride ó or donít ó and sifted it down to 45 essential papers. Unsurprisingly, ďfear of motorist aggressionĒ ranked at the top of the list of barriers for most riders, closely followed by ďpoor quality and condition of dedicated bike lanesĒ ó including bike lanes whose ďconditionĒ was little more than a line of paint on the ground sprinkled with broken glass.But beyond those obvious roadblocks lay a universe of under-studied factors shaping the ways that road users get around ó many of which have important implications for policymakers, nonprofit partners, and even the bike industry.

The researchers found evidence, for instance, that some people donít ride because they simply werenít taught the rules of the road for people on bikes the same way many are for drivers ó and may fear that knowledge gap could leave them in danger of either a crash or harassment by police, particularly for BIPOC.


1. Bikes not built for daily life

2. Bad weather, bad clothing

3. Negative perceptions of cyclists

Only posted a small portion of the article
Full article:https://usa.streetsblog.org/2022/10/...-attention-to/

The Study:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full...7.2022.2113570
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Old 10-07-22, 09:51 PM
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That is a LOT of reasons!

I knew of them but seeing a complete listing on one page is eye opening for sure. I think the main reason people don't cycle to work where I live is for 4-5 months a year the temps are 90į-100įF, and the humidity is 80%-100%. It might be 89įF at DAYBREAK. Heat index could be 120į by 10 a.m.. By the time ppl get from their house to their car and fire up the A/C they are already dripping wet with sweat. Cycling to any job requiring good personal hygiene and nice clothing requires showering facilities, clothing lockers, and a slew of other things to even CONSIDER pedaling to work. It is possible for a seriously dedicated person, but I don't know many of those.
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Old 10-07-22, 09:53 PM
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Where I ride, it's unlawful to use the paved trails after dark. So, I'll camp out in a lane out on the road. I'll probably get hit sooner or late...c'est la vie
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Old 10-07-22, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
That is a LOT of reasons!

I knew of them but seeing a complete listing on one page is eye opening for sure. I think the main reason people don't cycle to work where I live is for 4-5 months a year the temps are 90į-100įF, and the humidity is 80%-100%. It might be 89įF at DAYBREAK. Heat index could be 120į by 10 a.m.. By the time ppl get from their house to their car and fire up the A/C they are already dripping wet with sweat. Cycling to any job requiring good personal hygiene and nice clothing requires showering facilities, clothing lockers, and a slew of other things to even CONSIDER pedaling to work. It is possible for a seriously dedicated person, but I don't know many of those.
some of the PPE required by the facility can disinterest folks.
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Old 10-07-22, 10:18 PM
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People that want to ride will find a way to ride.
These 'barriers' only seem to hinder people that don't really have the mindset to cycle in the first place. It really boils down to comfort. People are used to being carried everywhere in motor vehicles. Any other means of transport is outside their normal comfort zone, and therefore, more difficult to achieve. Instead of admitting that it is simply too much physical activity to use any alternative human powered transport, they choose one of these convenient barriers as the reason for not ever using that bike hanging in the garage.
Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of the population really wants to ride a bicycle for transportation. It's not that it is physically difficult or unachievable for any able bodied person, it is simply not an activity for the lazy, and there is a lot of lazy out there.
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Old 10-08-22, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
People that want to ride will find a way to ride.
These 'barriers' only seem to hinder people that don't really have the mindset to cycle in the first place. It really boils down to comfort. People are used to being carried everywhere in motor vehicles. Any other means of transport is outside their normal comfort zone, and therefore, more difficult to achieve. Instead of admitting that it is simply too much physical activity to use any alternative human powered transport, they choose one of these convenient barriers as the reason for not ever using that bike hanging in the garage.
Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of the population really wants to ride a bicycle for transportation. It's not that it is physically difficult or unachievable for any able bodied person, it is simply not an activity for the lazy, and there is a lot of lazy out there.
I agree, this accounts for a significant portion of people. People are really good at making excuses, they don't like to admit that the real reason boils down to laziness.
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Old 10-08-22, 05:31 AM
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To be blunt, a main reason is that when people claim they're building for bikes, what they actually build tends out to be not only dangerously mis-designed, but far slower and more aggravating to use than the routing offered to drivers. At night or in winter, it might not even be usable at all - which they'll excuse by calling it a linear recreational park, rather than a transit facility. Rather than look at the trips people are trying to make and address the actual difficulties, they'll build some expensive monstrosity on one previously usable stretch of road that provides little help or actually makes things worse, and continue to ignore the areas that have the actual safety or usability problems that prevent making those trips by bike.

Typically what's actually need to make cycling work is just to make sure there's well paved shoulder-like space so that cyclists can be safely and easily passed, but in a way that keeps cyclists a mutually aware part of the traffic flow and able to move into one of the ordinary lanes where we need to for safety at intersections or to turn from there.

Car-like routings don't appeal to everyone who first thinks about using a bike, but when people actually try to do it on an ongoing basis, they turn out to be strongly preferable in all but the worst high-volume, high-speed traffic situations, which are uniquely the sorts of spots where bike-unique construction and signals start to offer actual benefit, instead of delays and dangers that discourage cycling. Yes, there's a level of road where any one of us is going to take advantage of a pedestrian-type option - but short of that, forcing cyclists to revert to being pedestrians is design that discourages cycling. Making that the primary offering is only justified in the worst of situations - anywhere else, it can only be considered an option when it doesn't come at the cost of the road width needed for actually safe and practical cycling, and when sufficient effort and education is done to educate users about the risks of mis-using pedestrian style infrastructure without adopting pedestrian style caution behaviors.

Before people start falsely claiming that is only the viewpoint of only highly determined cyclists, rather than the result of considering how the actual (vs perceived) dangers to cyclists come so much from trying to go through the wrong parts of intersections without traffic awareness, consider a reason why even so many very inexperienced bike users are already and increasingly going to be trying to move at higher sustained speeds than even most dedicated roadies:

I think the main reason people don't cycle to work where I live is for 4-5 months a year the temps are 90į-100įF, and the humidity is 80%-100%. It might be 89įF at DAYBREAK. Heat index could be 120į by 10 a.m..


The only realistic answer to commuting in that heat would be electric motors. Pedaling my bike is fundamental to the whole point for me, but if I were going to try to travel in those temperatures, and wanted to do it without using an electric car, the next best choice would be a two wheeled electric device. Probably the right answer is a registered, road-legal electric motorcycle, but in reality lots of people are taking the opening provided by allowance for "e-bikes" and buying throttle based things that are more moped than bicycle.

Pedal assist is for situations where someone needs to claim they are still riding a bicycle - either claim that to themselves, or to comply with any actually enforced rules. But it's the last thing you'd want in that sort of heat - no, you be looking for the cheapest, fastest, most passive to ride thing you thought you could get away with calling a "bike" rather than putting plates on.

And because the market for such things is precisely the people who were not previously trying to use a pedal bicycle for such trips, it's going to be people who at best use the designated bike route (if they don't take to the sidewalk). Throttle based light electric motorcycles are happening, to a degree that's probably unstoppable. And if you think about it from a transit policy perspective, that's a good thing. But we need to fit them safely into traffic. And the last thing that's going to do that, is sidewalk style routings that require basically coming to stop before going through mis-designed sidewalk-style intersection. A highly skilled bicyclist might recognize the need to do that to survive such mis-designs, but the people counting on their electric motor are observably the most ignorant users of two wheeled devices out there.

If we're gong to design for bikes (which means designing for the things with motors too), we need design and route designations that actually promotes safe behavior for operating a two-wheeled device at less than the speed of other road traffic:
  1. Generally in situations of sufficient visibility ride on the slow side margin of the roadway, which should be made wide and smoothly paved enough to do so safely
  2. Maintain awareness of and with other road users, including by use of a glasses or helmet mirror, appropriate nighttime lighting, clothing that stands out from the background
  3. When approaching an intersection without following traffic, consider moving more into the ordinary lane to stand out from the background and be more visible to those who might enter the roadway or turn across it from the opposite direction - not just visible to drivers but to pedestrians and other cyclists, too.
  4. Do not ride through intersections on the wrong side of a turning lane; occupy an optional turn lane, move to the through side of a mandatory turn one.
  5. Avoid passing slowing or stopped vehicles on the unconventional side, even in a nominal bike lane. If it is necessary to do so, do it slowly at a speed where one can react to others (including pedestrians) who act from an assumption that if the cars are not moving, nothing else is.
  6. Look ahead for obstacles and threats such as debris, paving flaws, and parked cars, and change into an ordinary lane well in advance of reaching them
  7. Where and when cooperating with other road users is not a comfortable option, using pedestrian style crossing aids is, but pedestrian facilities are designed for pedestrians who stop and look, not for cyclists who charge boldly in like through traffic.
For cycling to actually be practical over beyond-walking distances, there needs to be a much wider recognition that forcing cyclists to use pedestrian-style facilities is the last resort - rather than the first resort the ignorant keep trying to make it.

The arguments of the "segregationists" who believe that cyclists and drivers cannot cooperate already failed to recognize the actual sources of danger to pedal cyclists, and accommodate the needs of those trying to use pedal bicycles to actually go places - but the segregationist position utterly fails to provide a viable answer for where electric motors are taking the two-wheeled transportation demand.

Last edited by UniChris; 10-08-22 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 10-08-22, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
To be blunt,...........For cycling to actually be practical over beyond-walking distances, there needs to be a much wider recognition that forcing cyclists to use pedestrian-style facilities is the last resort - rather than the first resort the ignorant keep trying to make it.

Yeah Man! I've mentioned several times in posts on Bike Forum that it's apparent that those who design/approve bike route/lanes are NOT cyclists.

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Old 10-08-22, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
People that want to ride will find a way to ride.
These 'barriers' only seem to hinder people that don't really have the mindset to cycle in the first place. It really boils down to comfort. People are used to being carried everywhere in motor vehicles. Any other means of transport is outside their normal comfort zone, and therefore, more difficult to achieve. Instead of admitting that it is simply too much physical activity to use any alternative human powered transport, they choose one of these convenient barriers as the reason for not ever using that bike hanging in the garage.
Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of the population really wants to ride a bicycle for transportation. It's not that it is physically difficult or unachievable for any able bodied person, it is simply not an activity for the lazy, and there is a lot of lazy out there.
For sure.......but there are occasions where it only takes some small incentive to impel someone to get back on their bike.
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Old 10-08-22, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by detroitjim View Post
For sure.......but there are occasions where it only takes some small incentive to impel someone to get back on their bike.
Yes, it's called the separated bike lane.
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Old 10-08-22, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Yes, it's called the separated bike lane.
Indeed! Just as simple as that.
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Old 10-08-22, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I agree, this accounts for a significant portion of people. People are really good at making excuses, they don't like to admit that the real reason boils down to laziness.
An insignificant portion of the population and zero policy makers will pay any attention to a handful of "advocates" who make statements that only lazy people do not bike like the advocates believe that everyone should.
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Old 10-08-22, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I agree, this accounts for a significant portion of people. People are really good at making excuses, they don't like to admit that the real reason boils down to laziness.
I wonder how many of those "lazy people" go off and hit a gym daily. How many do Peloton? Are they doing any form of cardio such as stair climbers or treadmills.

If so, then "lazy" is not a valid excuse.

I worked with a gent that participated in iron man type events (swimming cycling running) but refused to ride a bike to work... his excuse: Aggressive Motorists.
Another co-worker regularly did mountain biking events (and was pretty good at them) he also refused to ride to work... again: Aggressive Motorists.

The chart has "Fear of Aggressive Motorists" in the 60-81 percentile... could it be there is something to that?
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Old 10-08-22, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
...
I worked with a gent that participated in iron man type events (swimming cycling running) but refused to ride a bike to work... his excuse: Aggressive Motorists.
Another co-worker regularly did mountain biking events (and was pretty good at them) he also refused to ride to work... again: Aggressive Motorists.

The chart has "Fear of Aggressive Motorists" in the 60-81 percentile... could it be there is something to that?

That's what protected bike lanes are for.
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Old 10-08-22, 02:11 PM
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One of the things that helps is a responsive government.

Much of my riding is on rural roads, and I just get used to the occasional piles of glass. I've picked up intact bottles from time to time before they became flat tires. And I found this on a well used local bike path... decided I might as well do some cleaning.



Anyway, along one of my regular routes I found about 3 miles of what appeared to be window glass scattered along the road in a place that might get sweeped once a year. Needless to say I wasn't happy.

I sent notes to the county and to a local cycling advocacy group, and the glass was gone within a week.
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Old 10-08-22, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
That's what protected bike lanes are for.
Maybe what you have in Canada is a lot more protected than the typical "buffered" bike lanes in So Cal... mere lines of paint don't offer a lot of "protection."

On the other hand, the best bike lanes I have ever seen were the totally separated bike path networks in Oulu Finland.


I was so excited by this path system that let me access everywhere I wanted to go, I rented a bike while I was there.

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Old 10-08-22, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I wonder how many of those "lazy people" go off and hit a gym daily. How many do Peloton? Are they doing any form of cardio such as stair climbers or treadmills.

If so, then "lazy" is not a valid excuse.

I worked with a gent that participated in iron man type events (swimming cycling running) but refused to ride a bike to work... his excuse: Aggressive Motorists.
Another co-worker regularly did mountain biking events (and was pretty good at them) he also refused to ride to work... again: Aggressive Motorists.

The chart has "Fear of Aggressive Motorists" in the 60-81 percentile... could it be there is something to that?
Don't mind me, I generally have a sh**ty negative disposition to people in general.



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Old 10-08-22, 05:49 PM
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A legit bicycle network is the ideal path forward, but the problem that I see with designing that is finding state owned land for appropriating/repurposing such network. The state (mine) will not finish sidewalks to connect to other sidewalks, let alone make a section so it doesn't have vehicles overshooting the sidewalk from a parking lot. Poor designs & poor executions.
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Old 10-09-22, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
The state (mine) will not finish sidewalks to connect to other sidewalks, let alone make a section so it doesn't have vehicles overshooting the sidewalk from a parking lot. Poor designs & poor executions.
That is s big factor in the USA: states. Because most Americans live in suburbs, their thinking changes to match their environment and imagining another environment is hard. To them, car dependency is natural and perhaps all they know and a bike lane to work does not provide value for them because work is 40 miles away. This too is "just the way the world is."

In such an environment, state-level politicians will not run on redesigning development to have networks of well connected dense towns, an end to subsidizing suburbia, or a boost to farm town infrastructure to help farmers bring goods to rail freight. Sadly, the state is where the money and power tend to be.

The municipality can swing politically in a positive way, but it can do some things well and others not well. If the town is poor, it may depend on the state for a lot.

Then some activists go to the extreme of the national government, which is like a hat trick: getting Congress and the presidency on board. In any case, the federal governmemt too often blindly throws money or just blindly entrusts the money for states to do whatever they want.

(The one key exception is trains. Getting Amtrak to own more rail lines outright would help service and maybe remove the lunatic but about needing to turn a profit (to pay to use private railroad tracks) when the highways hemorrhage money and no one cares.)

The state is so important. It should be at a higher level of focus.
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Old 10-10-22, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Gear_Admiral View Post
That is s big factor in the USA: states. Because most Americans live in suburbs, their thinking changes to match their environment and imagining another environment is hard. To them, car dependency is natural and perhaps all they know and a bike lane to work does not provide value for them because work is 40 miles away. This too is "just the way the world is."

In such an environment, state-level politicians will not run on redesigning development to have networks of well connected dense towns, an end to subsidizing suburbia, or a boost to farm town infrastructure to help farmers bring goods to rail freight. Sadly, the state is where the money and power tend to be.

The municipality can swing politically in a positive way, but it can do some things well and others not well. If the town is poor, it may depend on the state for a lot.

Then some activists go to the extreme of the national government, which is like a hat trick: getting Congress and the presidency on board. In any case, the federal governmemt too often blindly throws money or just blindly entrusts the money for states to do whatever they want.

(The one key exception is trains. Getting Amtrak to own more rail lines outright would help service and maybe remove the lunatic but about needing to turn a profit (to pay to use private railroad tracks) when the highways hemorrhage money and no one cares.)

The state is so important. It should be at a higher level of focus.
There is a hidden ethnical & systematic "moral" thought that people in well-off communities don't want to own up to, & if a network for bicyclists or even just finishing up the sidewalks where they drop off were ever physically addressed there might be an increase in the use of that "Nextdoor" app... essentially profiling .

I'd like to believe the high taxes are in place to fund for paying better public services across the board, but in reality it's a thimblerig of pay-offs to fund lucrative nepotism contracts, swindling tax payers of there hard earned greenbacks, & selling the public with broken promises until the community tanks. Once the later happens, those that can afford to pack up & move will march on & those that cannot are stuck dealing with the ruins that politics has left behind, meanwhile the crime moves in to leech off of whatever good that is left.
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Old 10-10-22, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
People that want to ride will find a way to ride.
These 'barriers' only seem to hinder people that don't really have the mindset to cycle in the first place. It really boils down to comfort. People are used to being carried everywhere in motor vehicles. Any other means of transport is outside their normal comfort zone, and therefore, more difficult to achieve. Instead of admitting that it is simply too much physical activity to use any alternative human powered transport, they choose one of these convenient barriers as the reason for not ever using that bike hanging in the garage.
Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of the population really wants to ride a bicycle for transportation. It's not that it is physically difficult or unachievable for any able bodied person, it is simply not an activity for the lazy, and there is a lot of lazy out there.

No, sorry, this is stupid. There's plenty of very physically active people who don't want to bike.
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Old 10-10-22, 04:55 PM
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The problem with many segregated bike lanes is that they put bicyclist into a more dangerous position at EVERY intersection including driveways and entrances/exists to parking lots. A lot of time a vehicle entering one of those can NOT see a bicyclist in the segregated bike lane because the bicyclist is hidden by another vehicle. This is especially so if the vehicle is a van or truck of some type. Curbside bike lanes with parked vehicles to the left (in North America) share this danger. Also how does a bicyclist in a segregated bicycle lane make a left-hand turn if the barrier is constant?

Cheers
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Old 10-10-22, 05:06 PM
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SalsaShark
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
No, sorry, this is stupid. There's plenty of very physically active people who don't want to bike.
Of course there are. But what is their relevance in this particular thread?
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Old 10-10-22, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I agree, this accounts for a significant portion of people. People are really good at making excuses, they don't like to admit that the real reason boils down to laziness.
The reason that I bike is that I am too lazy to walk or drive.
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Old 10-11-22, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
The problem with many segregated bike lanes is that they put bicyclist into a more dangerous position at EVERY intersection including driveways and entrances/exists to parking lots. A lot of time a vehicle entering one of those can NOT see a bicyclist in the segregated bike lane because the bicyclist is hidden by another vehicle. This is especially so if the vehicle is a van or truck of some type. Curbside bike lanes with parked vehicles to the left (in North America) share this danger. Also how does a bicyclist in a segregated bicycle lane make a left-hand turn if the barrier is constant?

Cheers
That is only the opinion amongst 4% of cyclists who have used protected bike lanes.
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