A study released Tuesday night to the City of Austin’s Urban Transportation Commission suggests that experimental traffic devices installed on a few Austin streets last year appear to be keeping cyclists safer.
The Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas worked with city employees in Austin’s Transportation Department to study and collect video data at a number of intersections where a variation of four experimental traffic devices were installed.
The devices were sharrows, or shared lanes between bicycles and cars, signs which say “Bicycles May Use The Full Intersection," colored bicycle lanes and bicycle boxes.
Data collected shows that the sharrows created a five-and-a-half foot cushion between cyclists and parked cars. Research shows it was one foot before the sharrows were installed.
The “Bicycles May Use The Full Lane” signs tested at two locations proved that space between cars and bicycles expanded from two feet to five feet.
Colored bicycle lanes prompted 74-percent of drivers to yield to bicycles. Thirty-eight percent yielded before the lanes were installed.
While bicycle boxes showed positive changes, research also showed that only one out of five cyclists figured out how to use them correctly.