Operational and Safety Impacts of Restriping Inside Lanes of Urban Multi-lane Curbed Roadways to 11 Feet or Less to Create Wider Outside Curb Lanes for Bicyclist

That mouthful is the title of the study published by the Florida DOT in 2011 showing that driver’s passing distance of cyclist can depend on the cyclist’s apparent gender and attire.

Touring cyclists - Martin & Maria

Researcher Tara Goddard was hunting for this and discovered the report is no longer available at the FDOT website, so I’ve now archived the report here for your handy dandy reference.

Tara, incidentally, is researching how factors such as race, gender and other factors influence motorist behavior around cyclists and is reviewing the existing literature.


  1. We don’t need special lanes. What we need is for motorists to change lanes to overtake, just as they do with every other vehicle. We can do this in two ways: either by controlling the lane or by building bicycles so they’re the same width as cars. I prefer the former solution.

  2. I dislike bike lanes for plenty of reasons, but if I’m reading the abstract correctly, it suggests that adding a bike lane as described prompts MORE motorists to change lanes when overtaking. That’s a surprising conclusion, but I won’t argue with the data. Score one for bike lanes.

    Of course, this is almost certainly comparing responses to edge cycling in a bike lane with responses to edge cycling without a bike lane. If you want to get the MOST motorists to change lanes when overtaking, bicyclists should use the center of the general-purpose lane. Works like a charm on my daily commute.

  3. Thanks for the comment. I think maybe the image I chose to illustrate this post might have misled you and Ian. The study primarily focuses on passing distance with wide outside lanes (vs narrow lanes).

    In recent years this has been de-emphasized, but vehicular cycling practitioners have historically advocated for wide outside lanes to enable lane sharing on higher speed roads. See, for example http://www.labreform.org/bestpractice.html

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