Yesterday, a person on bicycle was killed in Redding.
At Shasta Living Streets, we believe that most collisions are preventable by reducing dangerous behaviors and building streets that work for everyone.
In America, over 30,000 people die every year on our streets and highways; somehow, we have become inured to these daily tragedies and accept them as inevitable. Programs like Vision Zero say, “Wait a minute, these deaths are preventable. We don’t have to accept this—better infrastructure and better policies can stop the slaughter.” What’s more, Vision Zero programs have been shown to work.
Better infrastructure like protected bike lanes are the cornerstone of any Vision Zero program. Make no mistake, protected bike lanes work:
- Protected bike lanes reduce bike-related intersection injuries by about 75 percent compared to comparable crossings without infrastructure.
- Streets with protected bike lanes saw 90 percent fewer injuries per mile than those with no bike infrastructure.
- Streets with protected bike lanes saw 28 percent fewer injuries per mile than comparable streets with no bike infrastructure. People were also 2.5 times more likely to bike on the protected lanes than in general travel lanes.
And better infrastructure doesn’t benefit just people on bikes:
- When protected bike lanes are installed in New York City, injury crashes for all road users (drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists) typically drop by 40 percent and by more than 50 percent in some locations. [source: Memorandum on Bike Lanes, City of New York, Office of the Mayor, 21 March 2011]
Better bicycle infrastructure also has many proven economic benefits, but we will discuss that another time. The fact is that we can do better. We should do better.
Let’s not shy away from excellence. Let’s not turn our back on the deaths. Let’s work together to built streets that work better for people who walk, bike, and drive.