Do you mean bike lanes that don’t follow regular traffic routes? Or do you mean bike lanes that are painted on the outside of the road? To answer the second question, yes. Most major cities have painted bike lanes along the outside of major streets to give cars and bikers a little more structure. When it comes down to it, I think it helps to remind cars that bikes have a space too; if we’re in our lane, they don’t get frustrated as readily.
As for bike paths that are entirely separate…I’m not sure what you mean. I know in many cities (Chicago & Madison because I live near there), there are bike paths that are used for recreation (runners, rollerbladers also go here) which usually follow a scenic route and only incidentally provide a route for bikers to commute as a car would.
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