Bike Lanes and Ecology

Ecology is the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. Part of the ecology is how the people riding the bikes relate and interact with people in cars and people on the sidewalk. Let’s take a look at some ecological aspects of bike lanes.
Bike lanes create a tendency for people to be cyclists. People are more inclined to do something when everything is laid out for them – all they have to do is take out their bikes and ride! More cycling means less driving, which means less emissions. Instead of taking their car to work, they can now ride. All of this leads up to better general health for people, and even animals (less chemicals in the air that we breathe). As well, it takes less amounts of metal, oil, tire, and wire to create a bicycle than a car.
Bike lanes are a safety improvement in that less people die – humans are an important part of the urban ecosystem. Cars are more careful about being around cyclists since they can physically see the line dividing the road from the bike lane, and there are specific laws around the distance between them and cyclists. Even some places have bike “curbs” as an extra safety improvement. Humans are usually pretty obedient and stay out of each other’s way to minimize inconveniences and possible deaths regarding bike lanes.
As motorists do, cyclists try to look out for little creatures such as squirrels crossing the road.
However, the actual creation of bike lanes releases gas emissions – the machinery used to pave the bike lane, the painting torch, etc. Even the paint itself can release toxins as it is being applied.
Another issue is that healthier people tend to live longer, so they can take up more resources than regular people, which can be bad for the environment (using more materials made of fossil fuels, longer car usage, etc.)
In general, bike lanes try to promote a healthier lifestyle and planet.


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