A new study released today, which is being touted by its funders as “groundbreaking,” shows that a sampling of protected bike lanes in American cities have been a resounding success.
The facilities included in the sample — hand-picked bikeways from Austin, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago and Portland — showed a massive increase in bike traffic, received high marks for improving safety of all road users, and have won over the hearts and minds of people whether they use them or not.
Some key findings:
- Over a quarter of riders indicated they are riding more in general because of the protected bike lanes.
- In its first year alone, a protected bike lane increases bike traffic on a street by an average of 72%
- 96% of people riding in protected bike lanes felt safer on the street because of the lanes
- 76% of people living near protected bike lanes support the facilities in additional locations, whether they use them or not
- Drivers thought traffic became more predictable after protected lanes were installed. Most drivers said congestion and drive time didn’t change.
- Parking is a key issue when street space is reassigned and cities. The impact to parking was the most negative perception, with about 30-55% of residents indicating the impacts to parking were negative, even in cases where a minimal amount of parking was removed, or parking was increased.