Why Austin, Texas Should Implement Protected Bike Lanes

Austin, Texas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. It is also home to the University of Texas at Austin. These are two of the primary reasons why the city can greatly benefit from installing protected bicycle lanes.

More new residents every day means more cars on the road. A large student population means a large pedestrian and bicyclist population. When there are more cars than the existing infrastructure can handle and tens of thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists on the street, bicycle accidents can happen. Recognizing this injury hazard, some cities, including Charlotte, North Carolina, are installing protected bicycle lanes.

Austin’s Congested Roadways Need a Break

Rapid growth for Austin has its growing pains. One of these is infrastructure that cannot support the number of cars on the road. While the city works to catch up with the new demand, citizens can make their commutes easier by choosing to walk and ride bicycles instead of driving when possible.

Adding bicycle lanes to Austin’s streets can make the congestion problems worse, though. A bicycle lane cannot be made from nothing – it has to be designated from an existing piece of roadway. In most cases, this means sacrificing one of the lanes on a roadway, cutting down on the number of vehicles that can use it at once. City planning officials need to consider whether the benefit of adding protected bicycle lanes is greater than the drawback of removing vehicle lanes to create them.

Bicycling is a Healthy Way to Commute

In 2015, Texas ranked 18th in the country for heart disease deaths with 171.6 per 100,000 residents. Heart disease is often a direct result of obesity. Individuals who exercise regularly have a lower incidence of obesity and a lower risk of suffering from heart disease. Ideally, installing protected bicycle lanes would encourage more Austin residents to replace some or even all of their car commutes with bicycle commutes, which burns calories and increases an individual’s quality of life.

Protected Bike Lanes are Safer for Bicyclists, Pedestrians, and Motorists

A protected bicycle lane is not the same as a regular bicycle lane. In many cities, such as New York, bicycle lanes are denoted by thick white lines painted on the asphalt to separate them from vehicle lanes and in some sections, green asphalt. A protected bicycle lane is separated from vehicle lanes by a physical barrier, which adds an additional layer of protection for everybody who uses the road. This barrier not only makes it completely clear where each type of commuter should be, but can act as a layer of protection between commuters to prevent would-be collisions.

Work with an Experienced Austin Bicycle Accident Lawyer

A bicycle accident can result in expensive injuries. If you are facing financial damages after being involved in a collision while riding your bike, work with one of the experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Christensen Law Firm, PLLC today to pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Contact our office today to set up your free case evaluation with us.