Protected Lanes for Safe South Florida Bicyclists

Bicyclists have a right to our roadways, and that right is magnified with bicycle lanes. In these lanes, they’ve got the room that they require to ride safely — away from dangerous motor vehicles. But bicyclists say the on-street paved lanes need to be better protected or separated from motor vehicle traffic. They believe that these lanes should come equipped with barriers of some sort. According to the Sun Sentinel, these kinds of lanes would encourage more people to take their bikes on the road.
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Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyers understand that bicyclists are afraid. We can’t always rely on the driving habits of motorists to keep us safe. The truth of the matter is that we’re not always viewed as equal travelers, and we’re not often treated as such.

Recently, in Palm Beach and Broward counties, buffered lanes have popped up in a number of locations. These lanes specially offer 2 or 3 feet of lined space between bicyclists and motorists. And this safety concept is spreading. Officials in Broward County say that they plan on doing this to all biking areas, and Tamarac –between State Road 7 and 81st Avenue — is among the first in Broward to get the special bike lanes.

Officials with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) are planning to buffer the roadways along State Road A1A, between Flamingo Avenue and Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. It’s all a part of the A1A Greenway Project. This project will install 4-foot bike lanes that will provide a 2-foot buffer between bicyclists and motor vehicle traffic.

Right now, the DOT does not have a specific policy requiring these kinds of buffers on bike lanes. But it’s still officials’ responsibility to make sure that all travelers are safe, and to design the roads in a safe manner.

This trend is taking to the nation, too. Cities like San Francisco, New York and Chicago now have lanes that provide protection.

These lanes, which can also be referred to as cycle tracks, come equipped with a barrier rather than a white line to make sure that the traffic is separated. Some areas even have curbs, plastic poles and concrete barriers separating the traffic.

The truth of the matter is that cyclists have a right to be there and should have a special space to do it. It’s important that we keep this space safe. We want to be able to allow these travelers to move freely, without the fear of being sideswiped by a passing motor vehicle.

Safe lane or not, it’s important that drivers are aware of bicyclists while traveling throughout South Florida. These riders have a right to our roadways too, and they have a right to be protected.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Bicycle Accidents on the Rise in Florida, New Statistics, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, April 28, 2013
Avoiding Injury in Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accidents, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, May 12, 2013