Published on May 21st, 2016 | by Mira Bai Shahan


Protected Bike Lane Stats, Galore!

May 21st, 2016 by  

Originally published on Bikocity.

As someone who is more than peevish when it comes to biking (for good reason — I have crashed my bike into fences and the like just from being a space cadet), my routes generally revolve around empty streets and protected bike lanes. Hence, I am pleased to learn that protected lanes are on the rise not only in my beloved NYC, but that they are popping up all over the country. In smaller cities like Aurora, Illinois, and Athens, Georgia, as well as continued branches in bike-heavy cities like Portland, Oregon, and Denver, Colorado — the trend is continuing everywhere.

Earlier this month, People for Bikes celebrated “ National Protected Bike Lane Week” with the release of an infographic that shows this growing popularity (they’ve doubled every 2 years!), as well as detailing the many benefits. Data shows what all peevish riders like myself instinctively know — protected lanes reduce injury risk by 28%, and also reduce stress for drivers and pedestrians (did I mention I’ve also been hit by a bike as a pedestrian? True story).

The data goes further, though, to show that protected lanes have many benefits to non-bikers as well. For example, did you know that in Indianapolis, the implementation of a bike trail was associated with an increase in building permits in the zip code by 112%?! They also were associated with an increase in biking itself by an average of 75% in the first year of being introduced — reducing traffic and pollution, while creating an atmosphere of community activity. As People for Bikes says, “the best thing about a bike-friendly city isn’t the bikes — it’s the city.”

While a big part of this movement is grassroots-led, the popularity and efficacy of protected bike lanes is making them a focal point for city planners and engineers. Recommendations on how to design and implement them will be making its way into the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ 2018 guide, as well as guides and discussion from other national organizations, including the Federal Highway Administration. All of this means that the growth of protected bike lane networks can only swell from here. Meaning more bikers of all skill-levels can hit the streets in peace (and hopefully avoid running into fences). 😛

Here’s the infographic for more details:

bike lanes infographic

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  • Freddy D

    Great infographic! Love these. One benefit of protected bike lanes is that they allow a road to carry more people. They expand the transport network without widening the road.

    another benefit of protected bike lanes is that they can reduce car traffic and congestion and allow cars to move faster. I don’t know how consistent this is though. Data from NYC supports that though.

  • dlsmith

    28% ? How peevish! When I changed my thinking from bike rider to I’m a driver I’m going to learn to use the rules of the road and ride with the traffic my crash rate with cars dropped by a factor of 16 times! And thats because in that 100,000 miles plus using bicycle driving I had zero crashes with cars, its hard to divide by zero so I used one (1) assumed crash to get the arithmetic to work.
    I was unable to teach myself so I inquired about bicyclists who were successful, confident and crash-free riding with traffic and learned from them. Follow success or failure, which works best do you think?
    For decades I’ve been asking of bike planners and advocates: Which bicyclists have the better outcome, those who want to learn the rules of the road and ride with traffic or those who refuse and demand their own space? The answer is that this question has never been asked and every time I ask for it to be checked out it has always been refused.
    Too much money and too much politics? Hundreds of millions for engineering bike facilities and zero for education to train bicyclists to think and behave like a driver as a solution worthy of serious investigation.

    • Frank

      Cars weigh 100x as much as a bicycle, AND, are much faster on average. Bikes are not a danger to cars, but cars are a danger to bicycle’s, and because of their difference in speed, cars are constantly passing bikes. I was riding according to the “rules of the road” with traffic. I had a little mirror mounted to my handle bars that stuck out maybe 2 inches. Some SOB in a Lincoln came so close to me when they passed that they hit that mirror. There was no on comming car. I’ve also been yelled at by irritated drivers for riding on the road at all, in spite of the fact that it is completely legal.

      Do you know what I love? Protected bike lanes.

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