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Arguing for More Street Bicycle Lanes Essay

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Updated: Oct 4th, 2021

In the present era of numerous flaws in the existing means of transport planners and policymakers have tried to come up with ideas and propositions that will help bring back order in the transport sectors of their particular countries or jurisdiction. Transport is considered a leading sector in many if not all economies in the world; it helps open up remote areas for viable business activities by making them accessible to interested investors (Margaret 37). This is by developing transport infrastructure for example constructing new roads and expanding the existing ones.

Governments and lawmakers have also formulated rules and policies that help govern safety and order in transport. Road transport is on focus because of the fact that it serves the majority of people compared to other means like air which is more expensive and uneconomical if one needs to travel short distances like to and from work. Ironically road transport causes the most accidents compared to other means. According to the world health organization, road accidents rank second among the leading causes of death in young adults with up to 1.2 million deaths and an estimated fifty million injuries.

The main causes of the accidents are careless driving, substance abuse where drivers are under the influence of intoxicants while driving, and bad conditions of roads, especially in developing countries. Statistics also show that pedestrians and passengers as opposed to drivers are the most affected by the accidents. Whereas a number of countries have taken into account well-formulated mechanisms to tackle the concept of safety and deal with the problems many have been ineffective due to lack of funds to affect them or their applicability.

Government policymakers have proposed alternative ways of curbing the problems in the sector and among them is bicycle transport. For efficiency in bicycle transport, however, there have to be changes and modifications in the existing infrastructure like the roads and parking areas. Adoption of bicycle transport on the roads in their present state may cause even more accidents. This is because many roads were developed with motor vehicles as the focus so little energy was directed towards the incorporation of other users like cyclists (Anthony & Jeremy 183).

The little space that is there for pedestrians has been consumed by vehicles as more and more people buy cars and other use buses as their traveling means. This has in turn discouraged the use of bicycles led to high dependency on vehicles. Vehicles of course are faster means of transport compared to bicycles but their overuse has led to not only the aforementioned problems but also to the destruction of roads.

A debate has been intense on whether or not more lanes should be constructed as a provision for improved and more efficient bicycle transport. For example, as it is known, Beijing is a country of bicycles and a great number of people use namely this kind of transportation to get to their job because getting in a traffic jam while riding a bicycle is almost impossible. Namely, that’s why in China “recently constructed roads have bike lanes that are as wide as the vehicular ones” and namely that’s why more and more people choose bicycles as the main transport (Piper Gaubatz, 79). The construction of more bicycle lanes will encourage more people to use bicycles as an alternative to other means of transport like vehicles and trains.

Bicycles are a more economical means of transport where one is traveling for short distances. This is because one does not need to pay to ride a bike unlike other means like buses and trains. A cyclist does not have to go to an institution to learn how to ride a bike neither does he or she require a license to do the same as is the case in driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle. Bicycles also become a faster means where a person wants to get to a destination that is not served by public means of transport and he or she would have to walk.

A bicycle may be of great use when one wants to get to the opposite side of town. Therefore encouraging more bicycle users by adding more bicycle lanes on the roads will help workers, students, and other members of the society who can’t afford vehicles to reduce transport costs.

Bicycles come as a rescue to society from the rising road accidents that are primarily caused by motor vehicles. Motor vehicles are affected by many factors like bad roads and overspeeding that may eventually lead to tragic road accidents. For instance, it is so improbable that a person will opt to use a bicycle when he is intoxicated. This will reduce accidents caused by drunken driving. Bicycle transport however cannot reduce accidents on the roads if more and wider lanes are not constructed. Roads with fewer or no bicycle lanes will lead to more overcrowding and in the event that a bicycle gets in the way of a speeding car the outcome may be a fatal accident. Therefore an increase in the number of bicycle lanes on the roads is essential to reduce accidents.

An increase in the number of bicycle lanes on the roads and streets will also ensure the safety of children who use bicycles to go to school. Moreover, the use of bicycles is the current trend that is being adopted by workers to beat the traffic jams that slow the public means of transport. The use of bicycles helps workers to get to the respective areas in time and therefore increases productivity and increase job security in the long run when one is rarely late for work. Increasing the number of bicycle lanes will ensure that workers who use these means do not suffer and that they are catered for.

Encouraging the use of bicycle transport for short distances instead of vehicles would help bring down the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted to the environment by vehicles and motorcycles. Greenhouse gases erode the ozone layer that protects the human race from harmful and cancerous ultra-violet rays of the sun these gases also cause lung cancer if inhaled in large amounts.

Increase in the usage of bicycles and therefore reduction in the dependence on vehicles. This will help reduce the overloading of roads with a capacity that they are not constructed to handle (Kent 46). This will ensure that roads are as long-lasting as they are supposed to be and therefore reduce the cost that goes to regular repairs of the roads. Good roads will also lead to a reduction in road accidents.

The development of more bicycle lanes and other cycling facilities for example segregated cycleways and bike trails can help to increase recreational cycling. This helps the cyclists use their free time constructively and it also helps them exercise and be more healthy (Margaret 37). Cycling can also be a tourist attraction. For example, in Northern European countries cycling represents a significant portion of overall tourism activity. Bicycles also require a lesser maintenance fee as compared to motor vehicles and motorcycles.

Unlike motorists, a cyclist does not need to fuel his bicycle. As a result of the rising price of fuel in the global market, governments especially in developing countries are encouraging the use of alternative means to reduce the importation of fuel. The construction of more bicycle lanes would help achieve this.

On the other hand, bicycle lanes would be expensive to construct, and in the event that they are not coupled with good legislation and appropriate road signs bicycling would be even riskier than motor transport. The construction of bicycle lanes in residential areas would lead to minor accidents especially if the area has a big population.

Bicycling might also attract amateur cyclists who could lead to an accident. This is because in many countries there aren’t proper requirements for a qualified cyclist. Traffic policemen are less focused on the cyclist and this has led to violation of traffic rules especially wrong-way cycling.

What’s more, the easiness of driving it and the absence of necessity of getting the driving license is one of the main causes of the accidents happing on the roads every day because of the bicycle riders. “In fact, each year in the United States, about half a million kids are seriously injured in bicycle-related accidents…” (Bike Safety) and that’s because the elementary safety rules were not observed.

Bicycles offer less protection in cases of accidents especially where the victim had not worn a facial helmet which is optional. This is because a bicycle is not installed with safety gadgets like airbags in the case with a vehicle. Safe bicycle driving can be effective in the vent that there is the creation of new lanes that only cater for bicycles. This will in effect ensure that there are only lanes that are meant.

The use of bicycle lanes especially for a community is firm bass for the maintains of future health generation in that other than using the motor vehicles and other gas emitting means of travel the bicycles will offer an alternative in conservation of the environment.

And finally, people who used to drive cars will hardly agree to use bicycles instead simply for the reason of their own convenience.

Work cited

Anthony, M and Jeremy, F. Creation of more bicycle lanes and its impact in the reduction or traffic congestion Macmillan publishers 43, pp.182-188.

Margaret J .Work bikes and usage in office capabilities. Changes experienced in developing world. (3) 33-38.

Thomas Kent.Environmental pollution and the reduction of motor vehicle on the roads: an environmental perspective (2003).Longman publication (2) 22-26.

Piper Gaubatz. “Changing Beijing”. The Geographical Review 85 (1995):79.

“Bike Safety”. Nemours Foundation. 2008. Web.

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