One of the best ways to make cycling safer is to use rigid posts to block bike lanes from the street. These are often pylons or just thin posts that are about three feet tall. They can be attached directly to the pavement, and so they’re usually run in a straight line right along the edge of the bike lane.
These posts work far better than simply painting a different lane for a cyclist to use. They can reduce accidents, and cyclists reported feeling more than twice as safe when they knew they had that boundary between them and motor vehicles. Why is it that these posts work so much better?
They’re harder to ignore
The first reason is simply that it’s harder to ignore a post that would actually strike your vehicle. Some drivers just ignore bike lanes or drive through them without looking, as if they have more of a right to be there than the cyclists. A driver who has this mindset still can’t do so if they have actual, physical posts preventing them from entering the lane.
They provide an instant warning
If someone was to drive into the pylons, perhaps while getting distracted by the phone, they’re going to know that it’s happening right away. They’ll have an instant warning as soon as they hit the first one. If there was just a painted line, that person may look away from the road and not even realize that they entered the bike lane. The first thing they would collide with would be a cyclist.
They’re much more visible
Finally, there’s an added bonus in that these pylons are far more visible than lines on the road. Drivers may not be able to see these lines if it’s raining while they’re driving at night or if they’re in an area with poor lighting. But the pylons can have reflectors on them and they stand up high enough to catch the headlights from all the vehicles going by. There are far fewer instances where someone says they just didn’t realize the bike lane was there at all.
While these sorts of divided lanes are very effective and can keep you safe, you can’t always use them. If you get hit by a negligent driver and suffer severe injuries, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.