On a recent experience with biking around the west coast, i don’t think that bike lanes kill, but when found in abundance they seem as if they can lend a sort of complacency to both drivers and bikers alike. aside from the obvious and not so obvious problems mentioned above, just from experience, i saw so many bikers doing crazy things out there, all the while thinking “if you tried that in pittsburgh you would be runned over and then cursed out and then perhaps cited for lord knows what.” don’t get me wrong, i love the bike lanes, and i wish that all streets everywhere had them, but there’s something to having to fight for your space on the road that makes you especially aware and respectful of other traffic. so yes, the bike lanes=protective forcefield thus i don’t have to look both ways and neither do cars because bikes are safe over there somewhere hypothesis seems somewhat valid.
so what’s the solution? perhaps someone should require bikers to have licenses which they can acquire from bike around a city without bike lanes for x number of hours without dying or causing any major traffic accidents before they are allowed to return to their cushy abundant bike lane existences. perhaps a similar licensing for drivers is in order. i am thinking that it could be totally men in black with bikers popping up everywhere and if the driver only managed to run over the truly crazy and thoughtless bikers than they could be allowed to drive on our multi-use roads, because perhaps we are all better off without those fools anyway.