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Tracks for Cyclists

    Naturevolume 139page241 (1937) | Download Citation



    THE recent Ministry of Transport accident inquiry proves that, notwithstanding the increase in the number of motor-cars, the casualties among motorists are decreasing. On the other hand, casualties to cyclists are increasing at an even greater rate than we might expect from the growth of the cycling habit. According to a paper read at the National Safety Congress, fatal accidents to pedal cyclists during the seven years 1928-34 had increased no less than 122 per cent. In Roads and Road Construction for January 1, it is suggested that the best way to check increase of these accidents would be to copy some of our Continental neighbours and increase largely the number of special cycle tracks available. In Germany there are already about 1,100 miles of track, about two thirds of which is State maintained. According to a recent statement, the decrease which has occurred in recent years in cycling fatalities in Germany can be attributed directly to the making of these tracks. The German authorities are aiming at the provision of no less than 24,000 miles of track. The opposition that cyclists' touring clubs make to special tracks seems to arise from a fear lest these tracks be made not wide enough, so that they will have to travel at the most two abreast, instead of as at present three or four or even more abreast. In the interest of the general safety, it is probable that the privilege of riding three or more abreast will soon be curtailed by law. In many places cycle tracks, like public footpaths, could be built without fences, and probably a large mileage of existing ‘green roads' could be utilized. If a number of special tracks were constructed every year, the annual cost need not be large. They would add safety, health and enjoyment to the weekly tours of many cyclists who at present have to pass through main roads crowded by rapidly moving vehicles and sometimes in an atmosphere full of noxious vapours.

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