Protected bike lanes increase bike traffic by 75%, a new study finds

Last week the first report in the U.S. on the positive impacts of protected bike lanes was published. Portland State University’s National Institute of Transportation and Communities released its study of protected bike lane intersections in five U.S. cities, based on a couple hundred hours of video footage and a few thousand surveys.

This study shows that protected bikeways, among other things, increase bike traffic by an average of 75 percent (see infographic).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Furthermore, the study found that the protected bike lane intersections eliminated conflicts almost to zero. Out of 12,587 bicycle crossings observed, there were only 6 conflicts with motor vehicles, none of which caused injuries. Ninety-six percent of people who were surveyed while riding in protected bike lanes reported that they felt safer in those lanes, while 80 percent of residents located near the new protected bike lanes felt they increased bike safety, whether they personally rode a bike or not.

This data reinforces what we already knew intuitively, more protection means more people biking and more safety on our roadways. It is why we are supporting AB 1193, the Protected Bikeways Act, in the California State Legislature. If you haven’t already, sign California Bicycle Coalition’s petition to support that act. And encourage your cities to think of protected bikeways when redesigning their roads, to increase safety for every user.

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