E-bikes have dominated the news concerning two-wheel transportation in recent years. From state lawmakers proposing tax credits to help people purchase these energy-efficient forms of transportation to complaints about e-bike rental company practices, there’s been a lot of attention paid to e-bikes in the media lately.
Avid cyclists in California may have watched the growing popularity of e-bikes with concern. After all, while e-bikes might be smaller and more efficient than motor vehicles, they are certainly heavier and are, therefore, more dangerous than the average bicycle. As cyclists and those with e-bikes learn to share the road together, it may be necessary to adopt new rules for improved public safety.
Especially in areas that anticipate or have already experienced high levels of e-bike use, adding a second bike lane to major roads could be a potentially life-saving move on the part of local authorities.
Why adding fast bike lanes would help
Many municipalities have invested substantially in expanding their bike paths in recent years. Advocates now suggest that adding a second bike lane where there are already bike lanes and a significant amount of e-bike traffic could be a great decision.
Fast lane options would mean that cyclists moving at high speeds, like competitors training on the street or those on e-bikes, could continue moving at their preferred speed without endangering those biking at a more leisurely pace.
A second bike lane would reduce the possibility of people on e-bikes feeling like they need to move into traffic and thereby putting themselves at risk of a collision with a larger vehicle while also protecting cyclists from being pushed out of bike lanes due to the looming threat of e-bikes. As an added bonus, the fast bike lane would provide a little bit more of a buffer between those riding their bike to work and those in motor vehicles.
Cyclists need to consider the ever-evolving risks of the road
Other vehicles are one of the top safety concerns for cyclists, as one never knows when a driver might merge without looking. While e-bikes aren’t as big as motor vehicles, they can still cause serious injury to cyclists if a collision occurs.
California has already taken some steps to limit the risks to the public caused by e-bikes, such as imposing age restrictions for certain types of e-bikes. Adding fast bike lanes would be another way for local authorities in Los Angeles and throughout California helping to reduce the risk of bicycle collisions involving e-bikes. But until this issue has been resolved more satisfactorily, those who are at risk of a crash will simply need to make the most proactive safety choices they can and reach out for legal assistance in the event that a collision cannot be avoided.