Study of bicycle crash rates and cycle tracks
A recent American Journal of Public Health article looks at state-adopted bikeway guidelines to determine, 1) whether cycle tracks (physically separated, bicycle-exclusive paths adjacent to sidewalks) were recommended in guidelines; 2) whether cycle tracks were actually built; and 3) if built, what crash rates on cycle tracks were.
The researchers identified 19 existing cycle tracks in eight states, and estimated crash rates on these cycle tracks to average 2.3 crashes per 1 million bicycle kilometers. This rate, according to the article, is lower than published crash rates on roadways (ranging from 3.75 to 54). The researchers conclude that state-adopted recommendations against cycle tracks, which follow national guidance issued by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, are not based on rigorous or up-to-date research, which actually indicates a safety advantage to cycle tracks.