Making the man-made environment favourable for safe bike-riding!

Whether for recreation or transportation, safe bike-riding is the result of interactions between individuals’ and environments’ characteristics, including natural elements, as well as man-made and developed elements. This TOPO’s main objective is to present the results of scientific writings concerning the association between the man-made environment, bike-riding and cyclist safety.

Some elements of the man-made environment promote safe bike-riding and thereby contribute to maximizing the physical activity of bike-riding for transportation and recreation, while minimizing the risk of cyclist injuries. These elements and interventions are:

  • Reducing the speed and volume of motorized traffic using various traffic-calming measures;
  • Physically separating motorized traffic from bike-riding traffic (e.g., bicycle paths built into the road right-of-way);
  • Reconfiguring the road to give cyclists more space (e.g., bicycle paths built into the road right-of-way and bicycle lanes);

Some elements of urban structure are unfavourable for both bike-riding and cyclist safety:

  • Arterial roads;
  • Use of commercial land (big box stores).

For an integrated vision of safe cycling, interventions involving the man-made environment are crucial, but must also be accompanied by measures that affect sociocultural, economic and political environments.

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