For safety reasons, separated bike lanes are being installed in cities around the world. They are different from standard bike lanes in that they are located against the curb and there is a buffer area with posts or curbs separating the bike lane from the parking or travel lane.
Some separated bike lanes have both directions of travel on one side of the road.
Studies show that less confident or slower moving bicyclists prefer this design since they are not riding next to vehicle traffic. As more bicyclists use these bike lanes, safety increases since drivers become more accustomed to expecting bicyclists.
All bike lane designs increase safety for pedestrians by moving bicyclists off sidewalks. They also provide additional buffer space between moving vehicles and the sidewalk and reduce the length of crosswalks; making it safer to cross the street.
Bike lanes and other traffic calming street designs reduce speeding motorists, which increase safety for all road users and fosters greater economic development along road corridors.
However, separated bike lanes are not intended for high-speed cyclists. They have the legal right to use the roadway instead.
Separated bike lanes make left turns more challenging. Prior to turning, confident bicyclists may move from the bike lane to the roadway when it’s safe and convenient. Another option is the two-stage turn. Bicyclists proceed to the far right side of the intersection then face left and wait for the traffic signal or a break in traffic where there is no signal.