Max Draitser - Southern California Bicycle Attorneys

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Should we think bigger than making new bike lanes?

If you drive by a work crew building a new bike lane, expanding the road and putting in that safe space for cyclists, do you think about why it’s happening? Do you consider why that street is getting the new lane?

A lot of the time, it’s just because someone already got hit. Maybe there was a rash of accidents injuring bikers. Maybe someone got killed. After the accident, officials realized it was a dangerous area for bikes and opted to put in the new lane.

That’s not a bad thing, per se, especially if it’s a protected lane, but is it really the right approach?

Some argue that it’s not. They say that we need to think bigger. When you design a new road for cars, you often build it from the ground up and make sure it works. Bikes feel like an afterthought. Do they need a better, more comprehensive system?

Plus, is reacting to accidents really the best move? Why wait for someone to get injured or killed before adding the lane? It’s not hard to see that it would be safer for cyclists if the city went through and expanded the bike lane system or put in a brand new system for cyclists to use before the accidents happened. Then they could save lives and keep people out of the hospital, rather than always reacting to previous incidents.

Unfortunately, this isn’t often how it works, and cyclists have a poor system to use in many areas. If that leads to an accident and you get injured, you may need to seek financial compensation.