Bicycle Tracks and Lanes: a Before-After Study

af Søren Underlien Jensen


This paper presents a before-after crash, injury and traffic study of constructing bicycle tracks and marking bicycle lanes in Copenhagen, Denmark. Corrections factors for changes in traffic volumes and crash / injury trends are included using a general comparison group in

this non-experimental observational study. Analysis of long-term crash trends points towards no significant abnormal crash counts in the before period. The safety effects of bicycle tracks in urban areas are an increase of about 10 percent in both crashes and injuries. The safety

effects of bicycle lanes in urban areas are an increase of 5 percent in crashes and 15 percent in injuries. Bicyclists’ safety has worsened on roads, where bicycle facilities have been implemented. Design of bicycle facilities and parking conditions for motor vehicles clearly seems to have safety implications, especially at intersections. The study has revealed a few points in relation to this. Construction of bicycle tracks resulted in a 20 percent increase in bicycle / moped traffic mileage and a decrease of 10 percent in motor vehicle traffic mileage, whereas marking of bicycle lanes resulted in a 5 percent increase in bicycle / moped traffic mileage and a decrease of 1 percent in motor vehicle traffic mileage. The changes in traffic do result in health benefits due to more physical activity, less air pollution and less traffic noise. The positive benefits may well be much higher than the negative consequences caused by new safety problems.

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