Have you ever been riding along in the bike lane when the driver of an SUV or truck nearly buzzed you as they rolled past? You’re not alone: As cars have gotten wider and heavier in recent years and SUVs have become the new family vehicle, bike lanes are getting more squeezed and riding is getting more dangerous.
Earlier this month, Transportation Alternatives, an NYC-based organization focused on reclaiming NYC streets for bikes and pedestrians, posted a graphic that shocked us —and made us think about the cars we have in our driveways: Transportation Alternatives / TransAlt.org Their research has found that since 2000, the passing distance between a car and cyclist has shrunk by 75 percent on average. They give the example of 2000’s best-selling car, a Toyota Camry, which would allow for 18 inches on either side of the cyclist in a standard bike lane. By comparison, sharing the road with today’s popular Ford F-150 truck would give the cyclist four inches of space to maneuver. And NYC offers even more challenges since many bike lanes are between street parking and traffic, says Transportation Alternative’s senior researcher Em Friedenberg. As cars and SUVs have gotten wider, they also take up bike lane space from the parked car side as well, narrowing the bike lane even further. Video player poster image Transportation Alternative has collected some scary stats about these bigger vehicles: SUVs have caused an extra 1,100 pedestrian deaths between 2000 and 2019 with no corresponding increase in […]
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