Cyclists often find themselves pedaling between huge trucks and speeding cars or stranded when protected bike lanes abruptly end at busy intersections.
Chris Cassidy moved to San Francisco in 2005. He used to cycle through Market Street, a busy downtown thoroughfare.
“It was definitely the kind of biking experience that was really only for some of the more courageous among us,” he says. “You would be sharing a lane with much larger vehicles going faster than you when people were not as used to sharing the lane.”
Before San Francisco, Cassidy was in Washington, D.C., where he said he was hit by taxi doors twice when he was cycling in the protected lanes.
“They just stopped, and the passenger opened the door to the bike lane,” he says.
Cyclists and pedestrians often pass on knowledge about which roads or intersections to avoid through word of mouth or social media.
Now some cities and companies are experimenting with technology to record that information — which can be crucial in helping design or improve bike and pedestrian paths. And transportation planners are turning to data from apps that cyclists and runners use to track themselves.
With the exploding popularity in bikes and many millennials’ distaste for driving, the need for better streets is gaining attention.
What Does It Take To Build A Bike Lane?
San Francisco has a goal to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024. According to the city’s “Vision Zero” report, more than half of traffic deaths in the city are pedestrians, compared to 14 percent nationally.
Cassidy, now the spokesperson for the San Francisco Biking Coalition, says enforcement and smart engineering based on data are key to reaching that goal.
“The first piece of data is where are injuries happening — where people are using streets currently and where they are doing so that is proving unsafe,” he Read More …