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Meanwhile, on the Internet
Tribune Reporters
'Meanwhile' is a collaborative blog about all the crazy stuff on the Internet. Here, reporters from various Tribune desks tell you what you (almost) need to know about topics ranging from technology to YouTube sensations. Contributors: Michael McFall, Dave Newlin, Matt Piper, Brennan Smith, Erin Alberty. Edited by Sheena McFarland.

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(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Zephyr Building at, Southeast corner of West Temple and 300 South, Friday December 20, 2013.
Adding bikes improves streets for everyone, even drivers

In my piece on bike safety earlier this week I mentioned Salt Lake City’s strategy to increase bike ridership and called it a "crazy-sounding" safety plan. It can just sound so counter-intuitive.

But it actually works.

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In New York City, a recent study compared street conditions last year with those in 2009, according to Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic Cities. In the intervening time, the city has built hundreds of miles of bike lanes and launched a massive bike share program that logged 40,000 daily trips in good weather. That means a lot of new cyclists on the streets.

So what happened as the number of cyclists grew?

Goodyear writes that there were more people wearing helmets, more people riding in bike lanes and fewer people riding against traffic. More women also began riding. In addition, the study found that bike share riders were "exceptionally law abiding" and suffered few injuries.

I was also surprised, and pleased, to see that cyclists weren’t the only ones benefiting; bicyclists also were obeying traffic signals more often as their numbers increased. Running through red lights and stop signs is a frequent complaint from car drivers about bicyclists, so it would seem that cars also stand to benefit from more egalitarian streets.

And that’s what has happened in New York City: as Goodyear writes, drivers "no longer have a monopoly on the roadway and all users are adjusting to new infrastructure."

— Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @jimmycdii

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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