Getting people out their cars and on to their bikes will take more than a thin, white line.
Those bike lanes appeal only to the one per centers, the kamikaze commuters among the two-wheeled crowd who ride regardless of traffic.
Instead, bike lanes should be separated by a curb or barrier so cyclists don’t feel they’re about to be creamed by an approaching SUV or car. Or more traffic-calmed streets should be built where cyclists feel safer.
“We have to start focusing on the largest group of people who want to go on short trips,” said Jackie Chow, with the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition.
The current emphasis on bike lanes for the one per cent of bike commuters labeled as “strong and fearless,” isn’t working right now, she said.
That largest group of potential cyclists is called the “interested and concerned” portion of the general population, about 60 per cent, who would get on a bike, but fear for their lives when they do so.
The labels come from a cycling conference in Portland, Ore., where commuters were divided into four types: “the strong and fearless,” and the enthused and confident, who make up six to seven per cent of cyclists; the majority, 60 per cent, who are “interested but concerned;” and the remaining 30 per cent who’d never get on a bicycle anyways.