Op-ed: Cycle tracks good for health and safety, environment, local economies

Commuting by bicycle is good for human and planetary health, but many people avoid it out of fear of injury. Cycle tracks—protected lanes between sidewalks and car lanes—improve safety, but they can be a tough sell to businesses worried about lost parking spaces. In a March 11, 2020 editorial in BMJ, Anne Lusk, research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, proposed that communities take inspiration from programs that preserve historic main streets and invest in aesthetic cycling infrastructure such as lighting, sidewalk cafes, and parks.

Lusk said these efforts would encourage more people to cycle and boost local economies. “No one falls in love with white lines on the road,” she wrote. “Enhanced cycle tracks in dedicated space beside sidewalks should be as revered and generously funded as historic buildings and trails.”

Read the BMJ editorial: Designing better cycling infrastructure