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The Illusion of Safety

Posted by trikebum on June 15, 2009 at 6:42 PM

The Illusion of Safety

Critics argue that the safety claims made for bicycle lanes are unfounded. “There’s no scientificevidence that’s ever been found anywhere that bike lanes make cycling safe,” says John Forester, a cycling transportation engineer from LemonGrove, California. “It doesn’t do anything for the turning and crossing movements, which all have to continue.”

Forester and his followers—they call themselves“Foresterites”—advocate what they term “vehicular cycling.” In vehicular cycling, a cyclist operates a bicycle as if it were a car. Forester has created courses that teach cyclists how to break away from what they had been taught as youngsters. Instead of staying glued to the gutter at the right edge of the roadway, the vehicular method calls for cyclists to enter the flow of traffic when appropriate.

If Myslin had subscribed to this school of bicycling, so the argument goes, he would have entered the stream of traffic and stayed behind the truck as any car would have, instead of pulling along its right side. He would have followed the truck and crossed the intersection after its sweeping right turn, avoiding that vicious but all too common right hook.

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Categories: transportation cycling

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