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Transportation

Protected Bike Lanes Are Safer for Drivers, Too

A comprehensive study of crash and street design data from 12 cities finds that roads with protected bike lanes make both cycling and driving safer.
A new study on bike lane safety finds broad safety benefits for all road users.
A new study on bike lane safety finds broad safety benefits for all road users.Matt Rourke/AP

If you encounter a Baltimore bicyclist who seems a little on edge of late, forgive her. On top of the usual risks posed by cycling in a city whose drivers have been convincingly ranked as the very worst in the United States, riders there are dealing with a special new psychological trauma: The city keeps ripping out protected bike lanes it only recently installed.

Why? To reclaim the streets for parking, of course, after complaints from car-using residents. Or, in the words of a city spokesperson upon the removal of a neighborhood cycle track in April: “We are looking to build bicycle tracks or infrastructure that works, not just for the bicyclist or the community, but everyone. That’s our main goal.”