The protected bicycle lane– aka cycle track — along Portland’s Southwest Broadway provides a much needed separation between bicyclists and motorists, making the road significantly safer for bikers. We are seeing these protected cycle tracks, in different configurations, popping up all over Portland.
Hopefully, a new Portland State University study touting the safety and quality-of-life benefits of the protected bicycle lane will encourage the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to try the strategy on even more busy streets.
With the city’s bicycle master plan calling for 25 percent of all trips in the city to be made on bicycles by the year 2030, PBOT considers on-street lanes separated from auto traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts a crucial part of the strategy to reach that goal.
Key findings from the study:
- In its first year, a protected bicycle lane increases bike traffic on a street by an average of 72 percent.
- 96 percent of people riding in protected bicycle lanes felt safer on the street because of the lanes
- 76 percent of people living near protected bicycle lanes support the facilities in additional locations, whether they use them or not
- In 144 hours of video analyzed for safety, studying nearly 12,900 bicycles through the intersections, no collisions or near collisions were observed. This included both intersections with turn lanes and those with signals for bicycles.