4 years ago10,000+ Views
Since 2007, New York City has added 31 miles of protected bike lanes — that is, lanes protected by a physical barrier, such as a row of parked cars or a curb. The main point of building protected lanes was to make biking in the city safer. But when the NYC Department of Transportation recently studied the impact of the lanes, they found a secondary benefit: on several different avenues in Manhattan, the lanes actually helped speed up car traffic. The new report, spotted by Eric Jaffe at CityLab, found that on Columbus and 8th avenues, the time it took a car to traverse a specific distance dropped significantly after the installation of the lanes, while on 1st Avenue, it increased only slightly. At the same time, rates of bicyclist injuries declined steeply on all three streets, along with Broadway, 8th, and 9th avenues. So how did the bike lanes speed up traffic? It seems that two factors were important. One is that, for the most part, driving lanes weren't actually eliminated when they bike lanes were built — they were simply narrowed. Additionally, the design of the bike lanes included a dedicated left-turn lane at most intersections, allowing cars to wait to turn left without holding up traffic.
This is wonderful! Next time someone I know tries to complain about bike lane I'll send them a link to this card. Personally I think the decrease in cyclist injuries is benefit enough, but it's really encouraging to hear that they help improve traffic as well.
wow! I :O I would not have expected that but it's really cool to know.
It is good news! Depsite their benefits, often times separated bike lanes can be more dangerous for both motorists and cyclists because it's hard to see each other. It's good to see that the system is implemented well