Although there are plenty of bike lanes throughout the tri-county South Florida area, cyclists are now pushing for more buffered bike lanes. These types of lanes provide added protection as the bike lane has additional room for cyclists to move. Some buffered bike lanes even have concrete barriers, plastic poles, and curbs built in to protect cyclists.
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There are already some buffered bike lanes in Palm Beach County while Broward intends to make the lanes standard on many of its roads, with Bailey Road between State Road 7 and 81st Avenue in Tamarac being the first.
As part of the A1A Greenway Project, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will be installing buffered bike lanes on A1A between Oakland Park Boulevard and Flamingo Avenue in Ft. Lauderdale.
"While FDOT does not have a policy on bike lane buffers, we can potentially accommodate them where there is adequate [space] and where there is a local desire to have a buffer," Jennifer Barrow, an FDOT Complete Streets coordinator told the Sun-Sentinel.
Many believe that adding buffered lanes may encourage more people to ride their bicycles and will help cyclists feel safer when they're out on the road.
In Florida there were more than 4,900 bicycle crashes reported in 2011 with 93% of them leading to serious personal injuries. It is important that drivers remember to share the rode with cyclists and that those riding their bicycles wear helmets and other protective gear during their ride.