The effect of cycle lanes on the proximity between motor traffic and cycle traffic
An experiment collected proximity data of motor traffic overtaking cycle traffic on roads with and without cycle lanes using an instrumented bicycle. The work enhances previous research which has considered the riding position of the cyclist and whether or not the cyclist was helmeted, while controlling for vehicle type. The analysis shows that significantly wider passing distances are adopted by motorists in the condition without a 1.45 m cycle lane, with posted speed limits of 40 mph and 50 mph with a 9.5 m wide carriageway. These findings were not replicated for a similar width road with a posted speed limit of 30 mph and a 1.3 m cycle lane. The results suggest that in the presence of a cycle lane, drivers may be driving within the confines of their own marked lane with less recognition being given to the need to provide a comfortable passing distance to cycle traffic in the adjacent cycle lane.