The safety of urban cycle tracks: A review of the literature
- Published: Accident Analysis & Prevention Volume 52, 28 March 2013, 2013
- Authors: B. Thomas & M. DeRobertis
- Date Added: 28 Aug 2016
- Last Update: 31 Oct 2016
To examine studies of cycle tracks from different countries in order to identify the safety of these facilities relative to cycling on roads.
A literature review of 22 papers from Northern Europe and one from Canada, all dating from 1987.
One way cycle tracks are generally safer at intersections than two way cycle tracks.
When effective intersection treatments are employed, constructing cycle tracks on busy roads can reduce collisions and injuries.
When there is a control of exposure and all collision types are included, one way cycle tracks reduce the severity of injuries even if no intersection treatments are implemented.
Intersection treatments that appear to be effective in improving safety are:
Having the cycle track closer to the adjacent road traffic on the approach to the intersection to increase the visibility of cyclists to motorists;
Having advance stop lines for motorised traffic at least 20m back from the entrance of the junction;
At side road crossings and locations where cyclists might be travelling straight with vehicles turning across the path of a cycle track, cycle crossings should be raised, effectively providing a speed bump that reduces vehicle turning speeds and therefore lowers the severity of potential injuries to cyclists;
Having cycle signals to formally separate the movements of cyclists going straight ahead and motor vehicles turning.
The safety benefit of coloured cycle crossings is less conclusive. Some studies suggested that they improve safety, but only when used on one arm of a four arm intersection. When used on multiple arms they become less prominent to drivers.
The literature reviewed failed to address injury severity and also take account of how exposure affects risk.
Cycle infrastructure, safety, cycle tracks, intersections, junctions
A review of studies looking at the safety of different intersection treatments.