Bill [Redacted] was pedaling along the Central Canal Towpath and crossing Meridian Street in April when an SUV turned right on a red light and left him with a broken leg.How would a special lane have helped here? --And how would it be any more special than the marked lane (and "safety island") that already exists where the CC Towpath, along with Westfield Boulevard, crosses Merdian Street?
A specially designated lane for cyclists could have helped him avoid being hit.
(Story continues, detailing plans for some 200 miles of bike lanes, an idea I kind of like if we can afford it).
No question in my mind that Bill got a very bad deal; he had the right of way and thanks to an inattentive driver, suffered injuries and had a long, painful recovery. (Almost the same kind of damage I took -- so I don't have to guess, I know it's teh sux). --But in any confrontation between two wheels and four, the four wheeler wins. Every time. Ask the guys on big Harleys if you won't take my word for it.
There is no special lane that could have prevented this accident. If we don't want cars and bikes to clash, then having them cross on the same level isn't an option; but it's expensive and not always possible.
More specialness would not have prevented the accident the Star cites. A little more attention paid to where they were going on the part of all involved might have helped; it's an angled intersection with sub-optimal visibility and tootling along with one's head in some other game and/or -- drivers, I'm looking at you here! -- a celphone stuck to one's ear is a recipe for collision.
Whatever you are driving/riding, when you are at the controls of a vehicle on the roads, that's your task. Yakking on the phone, pondering the day ahead or just past or (as I watched someone do as she turned left in front of me the other day) applying mascara is not a good idea. About the only way to fix the problem by means of a bike lane is to pave the lane with inattentive drivers: attractive notion but not, alas, a practical option.