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Hiles, Jeffrey A. Listening to Bike Lanes. September 1996.
Whole essay in one file (544 KB. PDF format.)


Abstract | List of Illustrations | List of Tables


  1. The Problem: Bike Facilities and One-Eyed Prophets

  2. Car-Bike Crashes 1: Those Bothersome Bumps From Behind
    1. The Cross-Fisher Study
    2. Fatal versus non-fatal crash reporting
    3. Perspective: 1993 U.S. car-bike crashes
    4. Other Overtaking Crash Types
    5. Bike crashes with and without cars
    6. Unlucky Type 13
    7. Overtaking: a rural and nighttime problem
    8. Speed kills
    9. Where (not whether) overtaking is a problem
    10. Seat-of-the-pants profile
    11. Conclusions

  3. Car-Bike Crashes 2: A Broader View
    1. Cross-Fisher compared with other studies
    2. Five other crash studies
    3. The overall pattern
    4. Education and engineering: different needs, different outlook

  4. Behavior 1: The Ideal—Vehicular Cycling
    1. Drivers' training for cyclists
    2. Forester's "basic principles of traffic cycling"
    3. Road position: how cyclists "talk" to motorists
    4. Negotiating with traffic
    5. The importance of downplaying the overtaking threat
    6. Some misconceptions
    7. Effective limits to Effective Cycling
    8. Do Effective Cyclists ride more safely?
    9. North Carolina study: A direct approach
    10. Beyond crashes: A sense of competence

  5. Behavior 2: The Real—How Bicyclists Actually Behave (and how hard that is for some of us to accept)
    1. Riding with traffic or facing traffic
    2. Stop signs and red lights
    3. Scofflaw, or just plain human?
    4. Affordance cycling
    5. Bicycling: the "folk transportation"
    6. Cycling sanctimony
    7. How bad are bicyclists, really?

  6. Design Concepts
    1. Rack your bike, not your brain
    2. The right to signal a right with the right
    3. Knowledge in the head and knowledge in the world
    4. Environmental design as nonverbal communication
    5. Asking the right questions

  7. Facilities of Fashion: From Bike Paths to Bike Lanes
    1. A holistic trend
    2. Paths
    3. Side paths
    4. Trails
    5. Wide curb lanes
    6. Bike lanes
    7. More claims for bike lanes
    8. Encouragement
    9. Channelization

  8. Listening to Bike Lanes
    1. Variation: threat or asset?
    2. Response ability and vehicular cycling
    3. Cognitive stress theory, system image, and perceptions
    4. Gus the ordinary guy
    5. Betsy the Effective Cyclist
    6. Bike lanes: Knowledge in the environment
    7. The ABC's of the "design cyclist"
    8. Limitations of dichotomous paradigms
    9. Replace "experience" with "traffic tolerance" or "preference"
    10. Linking stress and design
    11. Bike lane design and mental models

  9. Conclusions and Recommendations
    1. Summary
    2. Crash Statistics
    3. Bicyclist education
    4. Cyclists' behavior
    5. Bike lanes, behavior, and culture
    6. The advocate's challenge
    7. Recommendations
    8. Why the term "sense of competence"
    9. Measurement tools and future directions for research
    10. Obstacles
    11. Finding new stories

Appendix: Bicycle Advocacy Resources

Reference List


  1. Differences in Cross-Fisher fatal and non-fatal distributions by Class
  2. Non-fatal car-bike crash distributions from five studies by Cross-Fisher Class
  3. A vehicular cycling sampler
  4. Two bike rack designs
  5. Side path intersection hazards and risk factors from Wachtel and Lewiston 1995 study
  6. A safe, isolated trail and a hazardous side path
  7. Ohio car-bike collisions, 1980 through 1993
  8. Daytime crashes compared to bicyclists' perceptions of risk of colliding with vehicles from various directions
  9. Hybrid lane pavement marking


  1. Estimated share of reported 1993 U.S. motor vehicle-bicycle crashes for Cross-Fisher Problem Type 13: motorist overtaking, bicyclist unseen
  2. Cross-Fisher Class D Car-Bike Crashes
  3. Five crash studies compared
  4. Top 10 Cross-Fisher crash types, all age groups
  5. Cross-Fisher Type 13 crashes summarized
  6. Forester's General Accident Rates
  7. Forester's estimate of "distance and time required to learn traffic-safe cycling"
  8. Bike injuries among North Carolina school children: Students who took "The Basics of Bicycling" compared with control group
  9. Wrong-way and sidewalk riding in Oregon bicycle counts
  10. Most frequent car-bike collisions by age
  11. Sorton and Walsh street stress levels