Los Angeles May See Bike Lane Barriers Soon

Riding a bike can be fun and while it can be a great form of exercise, it can also be dangerous. This is especially true in large cities such as Los Angeles, where traffic can be overwhelming at all times of the day. It is easy for cars and bicycles to collide and cause serious injuries or even fatalities.

The good news is that bicyclists in Los Angeles will likely be getting a safer ride soon. County officials are looking to add barriers between cars and bicycles. Various bike lanes throughout the city will be getting makeovers to add a bit of safety for bike riders and hopefully reduce the number of bike accidents in Los Angeles.

So what exactly does a barrier entail? It could be any physical fixture, such as a pole or guardrail. It could be a separate lane for parked cars and bicyclists. Many cities use raised curbs, planters, grade separation and flexible delineators.In any case, it will create a hard barrier between a car and a bicyclist. It will keep cars in their area and bicyclists in their area, with the aim of preventing serious accidents.

A study that will look at the bike lanes within Los Angeles’ unincorporated jurisdictions and analyze their overall safety. Currently, there are 46 miles of bike lanes in the county, with another 34 miles in design and planning stages. No existing bike lanes have physical barriers. In fact, the only thing differentiating bike lanes from traffic lanes are the marked, painted lines.

A line isn’t enough to protect a cyclist from a car traveling at 40 or 50 mph. Bicycle accident attorney, Jeffrey Nadrich notes, that “every year we seem to get more calls from cyclists who have been struck by a vehicle while riding on city streets.”  That’s why separated bike lanes and barriers are a good idea for Los Angeles and other cities with heavy bicycle usage. The barriers offer increased safety and comfort for bicyclists and are preferred over bicycle routes or bicycle lanes. Bike lane barriers are especially needed along heavily-travelled city streets.

Bike lane barriers offer other benefits, such as offering bicyclists an added sense of comfort. If cyclists feel safer using these lanes over conventional bike lanes, then ridership could increase. More bicycles on the road can benefit all Angelenos by cutting down on traffic, particularly during peak hours where commutes often exceed 60 minutes.

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