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Cincinnati working to create 176 miles of new bike lanes

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Robert Stamler has been riding a bike downtown for years. He knows he's taking a risk every time he rides.

"People on their cellphones seem to be the worst, the most distracted. I see it all the time. I'd say 1 out of 4 drivers are on their phone or not paying attention to the road, which is kind of sad," Stamler said.

Stamler is happy the city is pushing for bike lanes. He thinks anything to separate riders from drivers is a smart idea.

"Drivers seem to be very impatient and don't like the fact that we're slowing down traffic a little bit. So, if there's any way to get us to the side, that's perfect for a beginner to intermediate cyclist," Stamler said.

Some of the most recent research, published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, shows painted bike lanes don't improve safety. The study found painted lines had cars passing cyclists closer than no lane at all.

Researchers logged more than 18,000 vehicles passing dozens of cyclists. The numbers showed that only barriers, like the ones on Central Parkway, offer increased protection.

City Councilmember Greg Landsman says the city is working to create as many protected lanes as it can.

"Unfortunately, the streets were designed, many of our streets, in a way that is really about getting cars from A to B as quickly as possible, and that's why we have these major thoroughfares and speeding becomes an issue and safety becomes an issue," Landsman said. "Ideally, as we build out new infrastructure, streets, we're doing it in a way that is more complete. In the sense that cars can use the streets but also pedestrians and also people on bikes. That's considered to be the most safe and it's the most walkable and people want to be in areas where they can move around like that."

Landsman says the city will create as many separated lanes as physically and financially possible as it moves forward creating another 176 miles of bike lanes in the final phase of its transportation project.

"Where we can do that, we are and where we have to wait until there's major infrastructure improvements, we'll do that," Landsman said.

We requested an interview with the city transportation office but were told no one would be able to go on-camera.


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