Bike Lanes in Germany and Europe
Bike lanes in Germany--and throughout Europe for that matter--are so common that you actually notice when there isn't one. Two things I noticed about German bike lanes:
1) Safer - In the city centers, they are part of the sidewalk NOT the street. Thus providing additional protection from car traffic.
2) Fancier - No white painted lines nor large gaudy "Bike Lane" words here. It's simply assumed that pedestrians can differentiate between the bike lane and sidewalk. Look at the impressive labor and materials used to build: U.S. cities may not be able to afford hand-laid brick bike lanes, but anything they can do to encourage commuting by bicycle should be prioritized.