Scholars Review 23 International Studies. Bicycle Infrastructure Found Safer than Riding on Street

This month a group of scholars at the University of British Columbia conducted a literature review looking at all available studies linking bicycle safety with infrastructure. Their findings are clear, “taking the lane” is not the safest alternative:

“Results to date suggest that sidewalks and multi-use trails pose the highest risk, major roads are more hazardous than minor roads, and the presence of bicycle facilities (e.g. on-road bike routes, on-road marked bike lanes, and off-road bike paths) was associated with the lowest risk.”

The review’s background details the way the studies were selected, and we’ve linked to the tables they used outlining all 23 studies:

“This paper is organized as follows: first we provide an overview of bicycling safety and ridership. Next we offer definitions of, and alternative terminology for, the transportation infrastructure used by cyclists that might be expected to influence their safety (Table 1). We describe our literature search methodology and the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and present the results of the search in two detailed tables. Table 2 describes studies that assess the safety of intersections for cyclists, and Table 3 describes studies related to straightaways (i.e. roads, lanes, paths). We conclude by discussing the findings of this review, critiquing the methodological approaches used, and offering recommendations for future research.”

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