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Research Helps City Improve Crash-Prone Bike Lane

Dozens of cyclists have crashed on a slice of railroad tracks in Knoxville, Tennessee. Researchers at the Southeastern Transportation Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), developed a cost-effective solution.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Transport & Health, Professor Chris Cherry, with Ziwen Ling and Nirbesh Dhakal, found that most of these accidents occur when cyclists cross railroad tracks at an angle that causes a bike tire to become stuck in the gap between the rails. These UTK researchers happened to have a clear view of the accidents occurring almost daily, and they decided to understand why it happens so frequently. From the vantage point of a window in UTK’s John D. Tickle Engineering Building, Cherry, Ling, and Dhakal recorded a brutal compilation of bike crashes using a window-mounted camera that logged more than 50 accidents at the railroad crossing, involving paths on both sides of the street, in just two months in 2014.

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