Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Uncomfortable Relationship Between Bikes and Red Lights [The Atlantic]


The Uncomfortable Relationship Between Bikes and Red Lights
It'll come as no surprise to cyclists—not to mention irritated drivers—that bike riders tend to have what we might kindly refer to as selective vision when it comes to stop signs and traffic signals. Cyclists regularly run stop signs and signaled intersections when the coast is clear. Momentum is key for the bike rider, and coming to a complete stop when nobody's around is hard to justify. But even so, there's an inherent risk in not obeying traffic laws.
A recent study by Portland State students monitored intersections around campus to see how well drivers and cyclists adhered to red lights. As The Oregonian reports, the city's bike riders don't give the red light much respect.
The report [PDF] is available here, and shows that of the 497 cars observed only 36 ran red lights, while 58 of the 99 bicycles observed blew right through. That's about 7 percent of cars compared to 58 percent of bicycles.
Two of the three intersections the students chose to study have a cycle track, or a bicycle lane separated from traffic lanes. The researchers found that cyclists were more likely to run red lights at the intersections with the cycle track, with about 70 percent of riders running lights compared to less than 40 percent on the shared street intersection.

0 comments:

Post a Comment