|Laurel Street Protected Bike Lane, Fort Collins. Google Maps|
Road space can seem like it is at a premium in many of the region's towns, but a new study from the San Francisco Bay Area has found interesting results. In a survey of 1,177 people in 2011, respondents were asked to rate their level of comfort on a series of roads designed for 25-30 miles per hour with cyclists. The road designs included no infrastructure, sharrows, bike lanes, and separated bike lanes. Respondents preferred two designs with a similar vein: barrier-separated bicycle lanes. A running theme in the answers was the separated bicycle lanes make cyclists more predictable on the road and reinforced drivers need to be aware of bicyclists - benefiting both the riders and drivers.
For more information about the study, read the article on Streetsblog or read the study on ScienceDirect.