Here's today's public service announcement, which I made in an interview with some community TV show a while back, but which failed to make the cut.
Bike lanes don't make cycling safer. They do, however, provide the illusion of safety - a white line on the ground is no more than that. And, given that one of the barriers to cycling is the misconception that it is unsafe, an illusion of safety is perhaps enough to encourage more people to ride their bikes. More people on bikes makes cycling safer, through an increased awareness, shared responsibility, and sheer weight of numbers. So I guess bike lanes do make cycling safer.
Incidentally, the comment that did make the cut was, "People like riding fixies for the same reason they like skateboarding: because it's bad ass."