In most cities in the U.S., less than 2% of the population regularly commutes or gets around by bike. So attempts on the part of activists or local policymakers to advocate for more cycling infrastructure, like protected bike lanes, often hit a brick wall: Why should a city invest in something that only a small fraction of the population will benefit from? That logic, as it turns out, is flawed. Of course, good bike infrastructure directly aids cyclists , but a new study from the University of Colorado Denver finds that it also creates ripple effects that benefit everyone in the city–by significantly lowering road fatalities for drivers and pedestrians, as well. “Bicycling-heavy cities are some of the safest cities around,” says study co-author Wesley Marshall, professor in the College of Engineering, Design, and Computing. This is not because bicycling in itself is inherently safer–by the fatality numbers, public transit is the safest way to get around , and driving is estimated to be safer than cycling on a deaths-per-mile basis. But Marshall and his co-author Nicholas Ferenchak, professor at the University of New Mexico, argue that it’s the infrastructure that cities are building to support and protect cycling […]

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