Fall 2004, p.6
Cycling News: Bike Lanes
Buffered bike lanes like this one on Hudson Street in Manhattan, increase bike riding and reduce speeding.
For years T.A. has marshaled the common sense argument that more street space for bicycling equals more bicyclists and more safety. Now we can appeal to more than just common sense. This spring the DOT released a groundbreaking new report—a comprehensive before and after bike lane analysis—that proves that high quality bike lanes (five-foot lanes with a four to five-foot buffer) reduce speeding, increase bicycling and contribute to an overall decrease in motorized traffic.
The “Oriental Boulevard Bike Lane Impacts” study shows that the new bike lanes on Oriental Boulevard in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn reduce motorist speeds by 9% and increase weekday bicycling by 52%. Motor vehicle traffic decreased by 18% on Oriental Boulevard and by 20% on parallel Shore Boulevard, where community residents feared traffic would increase after the DOT added the bike lanes.
In the DOT’s press release about Oriental Boulevard, Commissioner Weinshall said that one of the goals accomplished by the bike lanes is that they produced “a traffic calming effect.” The decrease in traffic points to a reduction in unnecessary car trips, cruising and drag racing.
In April 2003, in response to community complaints about drag racing, speeding and cruising, the DOT removed one eastbound and one westbound motor vehicle travel lane from Oriental Boulevard between Norfolk Street and Westend Avenue and striped buffered bike lanes.
Assessment provides both the DOT and advocacy groups with solid information about what works and why. It allows us all to focus on cost-effective solutions that get the job done.
Read the latest news about bike lanes.
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