Detroit makes room for safer street cycling

The city is on a path to making biking safer, even if it takes motorists a little time to get used to. Brightly painted green and white, new “protected” bike lanes — those with a separation between bike and parking lanes — are popping up in the city, at the cost of nearly $150,000 per mile, to ensure a safer ride.That’s money well spent, according to Emmanuel Nelson, 31, of Detroit, who rides his maroon, old-school Schwinn practically every day.“I love the idea of all the new protected bike lanes because of the sustainability, clean energy, the adrenaline rush of just getting out there and riding every morning, getting exercise and saving on gas,” said Nelson, who switches to driving his car in the winter. “And having protected lanes helps a lot because the only accident I ever had was from a car door opening, so I feel safer.”Installing protected bike lanes projects a more cosmopolitan, green-conscious image for the city, while keeping bikers safer, according to some bike lane advocates. But despite all the white arrows and modern new logos painted on the bike lanes, they can be confusing to drivers who still drive and park in them, risking a $45 ticket.

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