Infrastructure. Saves. Ladies (and Lady-lovers).
Counter to what several older transportation advocates have touted, that riding “like a car” in traffic is the surest way to avoid injury, a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that the key to saving cyclists from death and maiming is better infrastructure, particularly separated cycletracks.
The results and conclusion from the study’s abstract say it all:
Results. Of 14 route types, cycle tracks had the lowest risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.54), about one ninth the risk of the reference: major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. Risks on major streets were lower without parked cars (adjusted OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.96) and with bike lanes (adjusted OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.29, 1.01). Local streets also had lower risks (adjusted OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.84). Other infrastructure characteristics were associated with increased risks: streetcar or train tracks (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.8, 5.1), downhill grades (adjusted OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.7, 3.1), and construction (adjusted OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 2.9).
Conclusions. The lower risks on quiet streets and with bike-specific infrastructure along busy streets support the route-design approach used in many northern European countries. Transportation infrastructure with lower bicycling injury risks merits public health support to reduce injuries and promote cycling.
Note that the study’s conclusion utilizes the forgone conclusion among public health officials that promoting cycling and walking is best practice. Probably due to the plethora of documented positive effects cycling and walking have on air quality, water quality, community cohesion and inclusion, mental health, lifestyle-related disease (ie: diabetes, obesity, heart disease), and a host of other issues that can otherwise negatively impact a Lady’s quality of life and increase costs and demands placed on social services. In other words: cycling Ladies (and Lady-lovers) are saving the world and our communities.
And relaxed riding on separated cycletracks with our neighbors? Pure, fabulous heaven!
While this Lady loves promoting physical proximity in our distanced and touch-averse culture (hugs and hand-holding and snuggling, oh my!), when it comes to steel coffins: the larger the physical separation, the better. No one and no parents/friends/siblings/grandparents/partners should fear for their or their loved one’s life because they commute by bike. With separated facilities, we can all breathe, and ride, a little easier.
What do you, fine readers, think? Where in YOUR city would you like to see a real, full-fledged cycletrack?
For Portland, I’ll go ahead and propose taking downtown 10th and 11th and converting them to left-lane cycletracks, keeping the streetcar and its tracks safely separated to the right, and closing them to cars entirely.
Let’s share some ideas, spread to word to our elected officials that “separate = safe”, and of course, let’s ride on. Together.
Safe riding, Ladies!
Us Ladies are not only gorgeous, brilliant, joyous additions to local streets; we’re also pedal-powered economic MACHINES! Huzzah!
More evidence that life-atop-two-wheels is growing in the US, and is in turn aiding our economic recovery, creating jobs, and adding fabulousness to a street near you.
More from SustainableCitiesCollective.com:
A number of reports over the last few years have illustrated the economic benefits of building bicycling infrastructure: from job creation to reductions in health care spending, investment in bike lanes and paths (as well as walking infrastructure) pays off. Now the League of American Bicyclists has updated its 2009 study The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments, and the news continues to impress. Bicycle manufacturing, infrastructure development, and bike-focused tourism are still strong bets in an economy still struggling to grow. Nearby bicycling facilities even improve home values.
And check out the nifty map accompanying this article that breaks down the economic impact of bikes by city. The benevolence of lovely Ladies (and Lady-lovers) just keeps expanding. Who knew doing something so joyful could spread so much goodness?
Well, us Ladies knew. But that’s because we’re whip smart, as I’ve previously mentioned.
Keep riding and saving the world (and economy), Ladies!