Many cities are starting to realize that the biking community is on the rise. Many of them have started putting plans into their budgets to provide riding lanes throughout the city. This opens up more ways to enjoy bike riding in your respective areas. We are seeing an increase in cyclist because cities are responding to cycling.
Benefits For The Responding Cities
Reducing Traffic Delays – I think that cities are seeing how cyclist will make their cities thrive in many ways. For instance, the city of New York increased their travel time in areas of the city by adding bike lanes. It was actually done without a total reconstruction of the street.
It was all accomplished by decreasing the size of lanes that actually made it possible to keep the same amount of lanes and even adding a small buffer to be included.
Stimulating The Cities Economy – At first, it was thought that bike lanes would hurt businesses because it would deter vehicular traffic from stores in the area of bike lanes.
Let’s take Manhattan for instance. After bike lanes were implemented, the businesses saw an increase of 50% in the area of the bike lanes. This could be due to the fact that those lanes brought another type of shopper to the area. That being the bike riders.
Cleaner City Environment – As the number of cyclists is on the rise, that means fewer cars are being used reducing emissions from the vehicles that are polluting the air. One thing for sure, the bicycle is not polluting the air or burning fossil fuels.
So in big cities that do have a lot of traffic, their pollution problem would decline as more people start to use cycling as their means of commuting to and from in town.
The NYC Department of Transportation shows that small business had an increase in sales while being in an area where there were protected bike lanes.
Portland State University/Bike Portland.Org did a study that showed people who drove to local businesses spent more per visit than cyclists but cyclists offset that by visiting more often and spending more money accumulatively.
Another study by the Frontier Group Think Tank found that annual miles traveled by car amongst the ages of 16 to 34 years old dropped around 23% from years 2001 – 2009. It also found that this age group took 24% more bike trips in that same period.
So you see, bike lanes are having an impact that is influencing city planning nowadays. Big cities are starting to take a really good look at the cycling world these days.
Insight On A Cities Development Plans – The City of Chicago has unveiled its Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan which is developing 650 miles of green & traditional bike lanes by 2020.
So as bike riders, this gives us a way to commute and enjoy riding feeling safer than we normally would just riding amongst automobile traffic without bike lanes. Now this will enable bike riders to travel to shops, businesses, & city attractions using a bicycle as the mode of transportation.
With this comes cleaner air, a boost in the economic structure for local business, & a safer riding environment for the automobile driver and cyclist alike.
Thanks for visiting and I hope this post opens the eyes of many about the benefits of bike riding and how cities are starting to respect the biking community.
Please feel free to comment on the subject or ask questions in the comments section. We welcome all feedback on the issue.
I really love the idea of Protected Bike Lanes idea however how much would it cost?
I know that there should be a upper limit for doing it. Do you think the cost of it can hinder the project?
I am sure it isn’t all cheap. But the important thing is that cities are starting to put it in their budget plans and starting programs to get it done. I am sure they are considering the cost but it does not let it make them completely wipe the idea off the chart.
I presently live in Gatineau, Quebec which is just outside of Ottawa, Ontario and this area is pretty bike-friendly. Previously, I lived in Montreal, where I probably had a half-dozen near-death experiences on my bike.
I really like the idea of the buffer shown in the illustrations above. I’d love to see more people hopping on their bikes and that kind of set-up would encourage it.
I’m a little surprised that there would be such an effect on local businesses, but thinking about it, it makes sense. It’s great to see that bike riders are being accounted for in ongoing development.
Me too, Craig. I think it is wonderful that cities are willing to be involved in making biking safe. I too have been clipped by cars twice this year compared to none last year. I have come to the conclusion it has to do with the street you ride on. The year I did not get hit was in an area where people were courteous to bikers. Now, I have to really be on guard on the path I take now because the drivers are super aggressive. But that is how it is out there. This is why bike lanes are needed. It puts a responsibility on the auto driver and the cyclist as well. Thank you for visiting and the input Craig.
Are the cities going to be doing major construction to install these bike lanes? Or are they just going to cut off some of the roads and make the roads even tighter? I know the city I drive around the roads is already pretty tight. How are they going to be expanding the roads to create a bike lane?
In this case, they probably will have to do some construction if the lanes are already too small. But traffic engineers are pretty good at what they do. I am sure they can develop a cost effective way to get it done. And applying bike lanes ti streets are most likely be done in certain areas and not in none. But I still say it is beneficial to include them in cities to make transportation good for the automobile driver and the cyclist alike. I hope they will come up with a plan in your area Kurtis. Thank you for visiting.
I’m not so much of a bike rider, Ron, as much as I am a walker. But I have to say that the benefit of people switching from using cars to riding to work (wherever distance allows this of course) is immeasurable when it comes to reducing pollution.
My town in UK has huge facilities for bike riders, including an extensive network of cycle paths. It can become frustrating therefore when such networks are not used therefore, and cyclists put their life at risk by riding on busy road crowded with cars travelling at fairly high speed. If facilities are there, riders should use them.
Absolutely. As of now I have to ride in traffic with the cars going to and from work. If anyone else who is doing the same I strongly encourage them to find routes that keep you out of that situation as much as possible. I have been struck twice this year within a 2 month period. So I had to change my route. But as more biking routes are established, if you are a rider this will be a tremendous step for us that travel in the midst of traffic. Like Giulia said, use them any chance you get. Thanks for visiting and for the input.