Baltimore Needs Protected Bike Lanes

Alissa Walker, urbanism editor for has issued a call to action for protected bike lanes in cities across the country.

This comes on the heels of a new report from Monash University in Australia that describes how a painted bike lane in and of itself is not enough to protect cyclists. The study found that the presence of a painted bike lane, especially when they are alongside parked cars, results in cars passing closer to cyclists than if there were no bike lane at all. The study’s authors feel the best solution to this problem is to provide protected bike lanes.

It also comes after cyclists in cities across North America, have been participating in the “red cup project” where cyclists in cities across North America have been placing red cups alongside unprotected bike lanes. Many times these cups are flattened by passing vehicles, showing that a striped white line on the road is not enough to ensure cyclist safety.

Walker refers to her plan as “summer lanes.” Under the summer lanes plan, City leaders will pledge to install physical barriers for all bike lanes by June 21. According to Walker, summer is the perfect time to do this as the weather is conducive to cycling, there is less traffic due to school being out, and protected bike lanes may attract tourists.

It’s also very easy to install protection for a bike lane. In San Francisco, after the death of a cyclist led to calls for a physical barrier from both activists and elected officials, barriers were installed in less than a week.

Unfortunately, Baltimore City is moving in the opposite direction. Recently, the city ripped out a protected bike lane in Roland Park despite requests from area residents that the City delay action until an alternate route could be found.

The City also plans to remove part of a protected bike lane on Monument Street, due to parking concerns of a nearby church. However, Delegate Robbyn Lewis is taking action to protect the bike lane while also working to address the church’s concerns. You can take action yourself with the help of our friends at Bikemore.

A comprehensive network of dedicated and protected bike lanes is a necessary component of making Baltimore a livable City with a high quality of life. We hope Baltimore City will change course, follow its own complete streets law, and prioritize people over cars.

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Gregory Friedman

Gregory Friedman

This article was written by Gregory Friedman. Click here to meet our writing team.

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