Now is the Best Time to Install or Upgrade Your Bike Lanes

Cycling has seen huge gains in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic. Ensure your roadways can safely handle this influx of riders by improving your bike lane safety systems and cycling infrastructure.

Cycling has become an increasingly popular form of transportation over the past few decades. With cities growing and becoming denser, urban transportation has been forced to evolve to accommodate a population size that exceeds road space. Additionally, climate change has shifted the culture to focus more on the reduction of fossil fuel emissions in our everyday lives.

When the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 hit, there was a boom in cycling, with many transit users shifting to socially-distanced forms of travel. In addition to a new form of transportation, city residents hit the roads to improve both their mental and physical health while remaining socially distanced.

Knowing this, how can we improve the safety of the cyclists in our communities? Bike lanes are an obvious answer, but what sort of effect do they really have? Are they worth it? If so, how can we ensure commuters can move safely from place to place while using these bike lanes? Read more below to find out.

Bike lanes improve our communities in more ways than you may think

Riding your bike has clear benefits, whether health-related, financial or simply freeing up roadways and reducing traffic or noise pollution. Unfortunately, cycling is the most dangerous form of transportation, with cyclists incurring a higher risk of injuries requiring hospitalization than their motorist counterparts.

Luckily, bike lanes do reduce the risk of crashes and injuries for cyclists.

Beyond the safety improvements, bike lanes bring a host of other benefits to our communities.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Contrary to popular belief, bike lanes actually increase retail sales when they are installed along storefront roadways. Customers who arrive by bike spend more time in stores than those who arrived by car.
  • Especially in urban areas with a high cost of living, cycling as your main form of transportation cuts down on costs and makes car ownership optional for those who may not be able to afford a vehicle.
  • Property values are greatly increased when they are located within one block of a bike route.
  • Bike lanes keep cyclists off sidewalks – cycling on sidewalks is associated with a higher accident rate.
  • Rates of cycling dramatically improve when bike lanes are present. Community members feel safer and therefore more interested in taking advantage of the benefits of cycling.
  • Surveys have shown city residents are generally strongly in favour of bike lanes.

Of course, there is still opposition to bike lanes, although most of this opposition is based on common bike lane myths.

Building complete streets and the future of urban infrastructure

Planning the roadways of the future must account for more than just motor vehicles. One of the ways this is being handled is through the idea of complete streets.

Complete streets stress the idea of transportation equity, ensuring that our roadways are safe and convenient regardless of the form of transportation residents choose to access.

In the USA, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requires state DOTs to factor in all potential users of roadways in their designs. Knowing that legislation has been put in place to put more focus on complete streets, with bike lanes being a major part of that, what sort of technology can be used on our roadways to make these complete streets as safe as possible?

The following section highlights some of the bike lane products we offer at LaneLight.

LaneLight Bike Lane Systems

LaneLight designs technology to improve the safety of your bike lanes by using LED enhancements such as in-road warning lights and dedicated traffic signals.

  • In-road warning lights (IRWL): Our industry-leading in-road warning light LED systems can be used for various purposes. In bike lane applications, they can be used for highly visible lane delineation, clearly separating the motorists’ roadway from the cyclists’ bike lane. Additionally, they may be used in a stop bar configuration to alert cyclists of an intersection or red light. In-road warning lights are particularly effective when employed at intersections to combat sideswipe accidents; sideswipe accidents occur when a vehicle turns or merges to their right without seeing a cyclist in the adjacent bike lane, as illustrated in this image.
  • Bike Buddy traffic signals: With many bike lanes, cyclist traffic does not flow in the same way as motorist traffic. You can have two-way cyclist traffic on a one-way motorist road or a bike lane down the centre of a large roadway. Dedicated bicycle traffic signals build confidence in cyclists and improve traffic rule compliance.
bike lane in road led lights

With the global pandemic having changed the way we view transportation and outdoor exercise forever, now is better than ever to improve our communities with complete streets, and more specifically, well-equipped bike lanes. The majority of urban residents prefer that their cities are bike-friendly, and research proves that bike lanes improve safety, economic prosperity and create stronger communities.

LaneLight’s in-road warning lights and Bike Buddy dedicated traffic lights ensure your bike lanes function as they should – by safely connecting those in our communities with the people and places they love.

Click the link below to start a conversation with our knowledgeable team about how bike lane products can improve the safety of your community.