I read a ton of bike-friendly news outlets, and I follow the pro cycling scene religiously. On my daily reading journey around the Interwebs, I saw the following essay on Velo News; it’s the latest in a recurring column there called “The Explainer”, written by noted bike journalist Charles Pelkey. Surprise, surprise…a well-written advocacy piece on a site that focuses primarily on the go-fast crowd…
The column describes some of the bike/auto and bike/ped conflicts as they pertain to a recent study that was reported by the New York Times.
To me, bike/auto accidents and bike/pedestrian accidents are both symptomatic of a lack of insight on the part of generally myopic — and often underfunded — traffic planners. Urban streets around the world are becoming meaner, largely because we see more and more people relying on cars to get from point A to point B … even when that trip involves relatively short distances.
The problem is exacerbated when those who would normally feel comfortable riding a bike find themselves worrying about their own safety and opt to get in a car. Ensconced in a motorized steel cage, that potential cyclist now adds to the crowding on streets instead of reducing it. That further adds to traffic and, in turn, may cause a slightly braver cyclist to reconsider his choice, which in turn adds to crowding and … as the Germans say, und so weiter, und so weiter.
Swing on over to Velo News to read the full article…lots of food for thought there.