Concrete Dividers for Bike Lanes

Protecting Pedestrians
Ottawa Sun: March 9, 2009
Morgan Duchesney

A man was neddlessly killed in Gatineau yesterday, when an SUV jumped a curb and plowed into him. This tragic accident could have been easily prevented by a simple and well-established solution. Relying on the skill and goodwill of motorists is thin protection indeed.
The most reliable and effective way to protect pedestrians and cyclists from out-of-control motor vehicles is to install those 3 x 2 x 10 foot concrete “Toblerone” dividers along the edge of the sidewalk. In this way, any careening vehicle is directed back into the traffic rather than up onto the sidewalk. As a further measure, a second line of dividers could be installed to protect cyclists from motor vehicles thus creating a genuine bike lane. This type of permanent and secure cycling lane has already been pioneered in Finland. These sturdy dividers would provide physical security and perhaps just as importantly; a measure of psychological comfort to pedestrians.
I’m not suggesting that we install these barriers everywhere, but definitely along the major roadways with sidewalks. Rather than build new roads, why don’t we increase the safety of our existing infrastructure? To answer the inevitable question of who will pay, it’s obvious – we all will, through our taxes.