Urban sustainable transportation is squeezed
Commuters flock to the bike lanes, and we risk more bike2bike accidents than bike2car.
It's getting crowded right now.
Initially caused by the topic we are all getting so tired of, the Covid19 pandemic, but now also and more lasting, fuelled by the climate crisis, the energy crisis, and the "too little space in cities" crisis.
This has caused bike lanes to understandably become crowded with riders and their various vehicles.
Naturally, different people and their micromobility vehicles accelerate and travel at various speeds. Analog bicycles and young kids are the slowest, then we have e-scooters and e-bikes accelerating and riding faster, and then we have the ever more popular cargo bikes taking up much more space on the narrow bike lanes.
To ensure people can enjoy their commuting with no traffic jams and risk of bikes crashing each other, there is a need to rethink how bike lanes are designed …namely, wider.
Twenty years ago, there were no electric bikes, no cargo bikes, and the handlebar of an MTB bike was still within reach of your two hands. And lately, we have started to see the real elephants of the bike lanes, the commercial cargo bikes, a two-meter high and one-meter wide box on bicycle wheels, slow-moving and impossible to overtake.
Adding to the uptake in cycling is of course also that more and more car drivers start to find it super silly transporting themselves and one tonne of batteries to the city centre in their "sustainable" electric car and then going around for an hour to find a parking space having to a hefty parking fee.
This is not and never will be the future of urban transportation. It's much more convenient to take their bicycle from their homes in the suburbs to the train or Metro station, bringing their bike with them on the train and again using it for the last mile ride to their workplace or destination. It simply makes sense.
However, one thing we should question right now is Speed pedelecs riding on the bike lanes.
We cannot have people riding at 45 km/h on Speed pedelecs, mixing up among all the slower bicycles and not to forget, the many kids enjoying riding their bright coloured bikes. These Speed pedelec "e-bikes", which are no more than lightweight mopeds, should not be allowed onto the bicycle lanes in cities with higher speed limits than 30km/h; they belong on the street, where they will find enough space as there anyway will be fewer cars in the future.
Yes, it's all different now on the bike lanes.