It's kind of amusing since it was motorists who wanted bikes out of their way who promoted the same idea 40 years ago. Back then, however the cyclists fought back. They refused to cede the thousands of years to the machine.
This 1974 study noted that the 'protected bike path' only really protected the cyclist grom being rear ended by an automobile. That particular collision is actually rare & the least likely collision to happen between a car & a bike accounting for only about 4% of car bike collisions. A cyclist is about 3 times more likely to hit a car making an improper turn in front of the cyclist or a cyclist making an improper turn in front of a car. The most common collision comes from cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. This problem will likely become a bike on bike issue with the 'protected bike path'. The turning issue might only be exacerbated with the paths & the decreased lines of visibility.
But what's changed in 40 years when the cyclists defied their adversaries and now when the cyclists worst enemy is himself?
Fatal car crashes have been slowly declining over the last 30 years. Cycling whether it be serious/utility cycling or recreational/sport riding certainly seems up over at least the last ten years. Removing the cyclist from the roadway here & there will not help the motorist learn to deal with the cyclist who needs an 'unprotected path'.
I'm reminded of what Ben Franklin once said"
They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.Let this be my warning to all of you who want your special 'protected paths' - the route you are taking will lead to your banishment from the common roadways.