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New Year’s Resolution for FHWA – Implement More Separated Bike Lanes

This New Year, encourage the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to resolve to build more separated bike lanes by telling them that this game-changing, proven, effective, simple, and yet under-utilized innovation should be part of the next Every Day Counts deployment.

Right now, the FHWA has an opportunity to make bicycling better and deliver on its promises to provide a safe transportation system that utilizes 21st century solutions. That opportunity is found in the FHWA’s Every Day Counts program.

Every Day Counts is a fast-tracking program “that identifies and rapidly deploys proven, yet underutilized innovations to shorten the project delivery process [and] enhance roadway safety.” Through January 21, the public is invited to suggest “innovations and processes that have the potential to transform the way the highway transportation community does business.” I can’t think of a better innovation for the FHWA to support than separated bike lanes – which have transformed communities, gotten more people biking, and improved the safety of people biking, walking, and driving where they have been implemented.

But, you don’t have to take my word on the proven, yet underutilized, innovation of separated bike lanes. Last November, even the National Transportation Safety Board called for separated bike lanes to be included in the Every Day Counts program after finding that:

  • European cities and countries that have high rates of bicycling and incredible safety records attribute those successes to bicycle infrastructure, particularly separated bike lanes.
  • A review of separated bike lanes constructed in the United States found that they increased bicycle ridership and made people biking more likely to behave predictably.
  • Multiple international and meta-reviews support separated bike lanes decreasing the risk of injury and lowering the severity of injuries that occur, in part because they all but eliminate hit from behind crashes that disproportionately kill people biking.
  • However, despite the evidence of the efficacy of separated bike lanes, many states have yet to install them on state roadways and fewer than 100 cities have one installed (there are currently 488 Bicycle Friendly Communities in the US).

Here are three ways you can encourage FHWA to include and promote separated bike lanes through its Every Day Counts initiative:

  1. Use our Action Alert to send an email reiterating the NTSB’s suggestion
  2. Submit a PDF using the form provided by FHWA by email to [email protected] – here’s my submission as an example
  3. Tell others to call for federal backing for separated bike lanes and use #FHWA_EDC on social media to tell them about this opportunity