Local authorities have to make tough decisions about what transport infrastructure they spend on. For every cycling campaigner pleading for more bike lanes, there are others saying there is no need.
Their evidence to back up their claims? The lack of cyclists using current bike lanes.
A recent report from Europe suggests they are wrong. It studied how the introduction of new cycle lanes and paths had affected numbers of cyclists across a range of European cities. It found that the new infrastructure led to increases of between 11% and 48% in cycle traffic.
Why are people against more cycle lanes?
Not everyone likes riding bicycles. Some people love cars. That is fair enough. Yet, it is essential to think about how we come to these conclusions. Take a look at fashion. You might think that your decision to cut your hair in a certain style or to wear a specific cut of jeans is one you freely made. Yet fashion, like motoring, is an industry. Things do not fall in and out of style of their own accord. There are people pulling the strings.
The more that people ride bicycles, the less they use cars. The less they use cars, the less they spend on vehicles and gas. When they do that, the profits of the car and fuel industries will suffer.
Lobbying by the automotive and fossil fuel industry has a massive effect on government policies at a federal and local scale. There is ample evidence that encouraging cycling would be better for everyone. Yet, those industries spend millions trying to convince people that what they really need is newer vehicles, faster roads and fewer annoyances like cycle lanes to slow down the flow of car traffic.
If you are injured by a driver while cycling, do not be surprised if they try to blame it on you. Don’t take it personally. Instead, focus your energy on getting the compensation you need.