Commentary: Should We Put Bikes in the “Slow Lane”?

In addition to encouraging more people to ride, bicycle advocates of all stripes seek to get motorists to accept bikes and their riders as legitimate users of road space. But they split into two camps over the best way to do this. The dominant camp since the 1980s promotes what’s been dubbed the “Amsterdam” or “Scandinavian” model, which promotes protected bike lanes separate from motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic as the best way to make cycling safer for more people. A dedicated minority, most prominently the late cyclist-engineer John Forester, advocate instead for “vehicular cycling” — having bikes operate in the general traffic stream, with bicyclists behaving like drivers of non-motorized cars.