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Cyclists don´t feel safe using the New Bike Lanes

Cyclists don´t feel safe using the New Bike Lanes

Cyclists Don´t feel safe using the New Bike Lanes

Cyclists in the region do not feel safe when using the bike lanes in towns such as Benidorm, Alfaz del Pi and Altea.

They emphasize that not being well delimited makes them feel insecure and stress that in areas such as La Vila Joiosa and La Nucía  they are different. In La Vila, the bike lanes are separated by a curb that prevents cars from invading, while in La Nucía, the bike lane is directly on the pavement and completely segregated from road traffic. Even in these areas, they state that there are still many pending issues so that bicycle lanes are made safer.

A van invades a bicycle lane on Jaime I Avenue in Benidorm.

A study developed by British universities of Leeds and Bolton, concludes that roads without bike lanes are safer than those in which this element is only painted on the asphalt without any architectural barrier. In the study, a comparison was made of the behavior of the drivers in each case and, after this experiment, they were able to verify that on the roads lacking defined space for bicycles, the drivers kept a more prudent distance than in the other type of roads . With these results and after conducting interviews with drivers and cyclists, the researchers deduced that the paint on the ground that delimits the bike lane generates in the driver the feeling that distance is no longer necessary. with the bikes, because they are already segregated.

The bicycle users of the Marina Baixa region agree with the conclusions drawn by this investigation and even point out other deficiencies that are a danger for those who use the bike lanes.

A  cyclist from La Nucia Cycling club points out that “the bike lane on the road that goes from Benidorm to La Nucía, is completely separated from cars, you go on the pavement”. However, he emphasizes that within the bicycle lane itself “there are streetlights, benches, bus stops” that endanger those who use it. Similar opinions are recurring among users of other municipalities. Jesús Ferrero, a bicycle user, affirms that “the rails that go through the center of the road in Benidorm would not help, cars don’t respect and invade them”,

While in relation to those that are separated by rubber buoys or other elements of similar characteristics, they are considered to  protect the cyclist but are a danger to cars. He gives as an example the lane that connects l’Alfàs del Pi with the area of ​​Playa Albir. In both cases, as well as other users consulted, they emphasize that on the roads the vehicles maintain the prudential distance, while on urban roads the cars pass closer to them and even invade the bike lanes.

Not everything looks negative. The president of the Cycling Club of l’Alfàs del Pi, Luis Gerardo Álvarez, appreciates that he is betting on the creation of these roads that are committed to sustainable mobility and that are taking away space from the car. Remember that a few years ago, “traveling with the bike through the region was a real danger and now you can use the bike more safely”, but also believes that “you still have to move forward in matters such as road education”.

Challenges

The Councilor for mobility of Benidorm, José Ramón González de Zárate, points out that there are indeed many studies and many options for the implementation of the bike lanes. It indicates that in the case of Benidorm, different models have been chosen for each zone, depending on the characteristics, the volume of traffic, etc.

The mayor emphasizes that every two months they participate in the meetings of the Network of Cities with Bicycles, where all these variables are discussed and possible solutions are studied. He points out that there are still many challenges, but that the goal is to encourage use of this means of transport.

Ángel Ferris: “The bicycle lanes are made to look good, but they don’t work”

In addition to parallel or built-in bike lanes, Ferris believes that independent cycle paths should be created

Q What do you think of the bike lanes of the Marina Baixa?
A They are designed to look good, but they are not functional or safe. In Benidorm, cars and pedestrians invade them. In Cami de la Mar, l’Alfàs del Pi, cars pass very fast and close to you. On the promenade of Altea, you have to dodge waiters …

Q Do you think they encourage the use of the bike?
A No, but because the cyclist is not respected, the regulations are not known in this regard and that does not make people feel safe on the bike.

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Note – The article above has been translated from Spanish to English so some detail may be lost in this translation, read the original story at www.diarioinformacion.com

 Article by CARLOS MORA

What are your views on the new bike lanes? comment below.

 

 

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