Bike lanes inspire more cycling, says study

January 7, 2011
A Tulane University study sees a 57 percent increase in cycling along St. Claude Avenue, the city’s first street to get the new lanes.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Are the freshly striped bicycle lanes on many New Orleans streets enticing more people to ride their bikes? A new Tulane University study sees a big increase in cycling along St. Claude Avenue, the city’s first street to get the new lanes.

Observers found a 57 percent increase in the average number of riders per day during a two-week period in November 2008 – just six months after the lanes were installed – compared to a study period in the same month a year earlier when no lanes existed. The research article, which is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, is one of the few to examine cycling for an extended time period before and after lane installation, says lead author Kathryn Parker, assistant director of Tulane’s Prevention Research Center.

“These findings suggest that bike lanes are well-suited to New Orleans,” Parker says. “Installing bike lanes is a cost-effective means of encouraging residents to be physically active for transportation and recreation.”

Observers counted cyclists in a designated area along Saint Claude for nine hours daily. Average ridership increased to almost 143 cyclists per day compared to 91 before the lane installation.

To make sure the increase could be credited to the new lanes, authors discounted other factors that could have increased — fuel costs and population increases. The average price for a gallon of gas fell by almost $1 during the two study periods; census estimates showed only a 17 percent increase in population for nearby neighborhoods during the year.

The new lanes had the biggest statistical impact on female cyclists, increasing the average daily number of women riding by 133 percent compared to a year earlier. Prior studies have shown that women prefer biking areas that are separated from traffic.

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5 comments

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deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2011
What is the cost/benefit ratio to society as a whole???

Likely very high. So building/widening bike lanes is political pandering to a small minority of people who want to impose their way of life on the rest of us.
geokstr
1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2011
Wow, that breaks down to a whopping one bicycle every 4 minutes, while several thousand cars trundled by, no doubt. And since it was measured over a 9 hour period, probably most of those were the same riders doing a round trip.

Those favoring mass transit will now recommend that we set aside one car lane per road and the rest will be bike, tricycle, Tryke, roller skates and walking lanes. That'll take care of the CO2 problem they claim Gaia is having, and once 90% of homo sapiens sapiens dies from starvation because we can't even get food to market, they'll be happy.

This reminds me of the 1980s when New York City spent 600 million dollars to buy a fleet of kneeling buses so those on wheelchairs could use them. Six months later, they found that exactly one person had used them, so they abandoned them. But the liberal heart felt good because they had done it with grand intentions.
fixie4lyfeyo
not rated yet Jan 21, 2011
What is the cost/benefit ratio to society as a whole???

Likely very high. So building/widening bike lanes is political pandering to a small minority of people who want to impose their way of life on the rest of us.


When you can no longer afford to transport yourself around by burning fossil fuels, let's hope you're not too out-of-shape to handle self-propelled alternatives.
fixie4lyfeyo
5 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2011
I am so excited to see quantifiable results from such a simple roadway improvement. People who ride bikes instead of driving cars save municipalities huge sums of money on infrastructure and taxes.

Building bike infrastructure actually creates more jobs than simply resurfacing or adding onto additional roads.
citycyclist
not rated yet Jan 21, 2011
I am so excited to see quantifiable results from such a simple roadway improvement. People who ride bikes instead of driving cars save municipalities huge sums of money on infrastructure and taxes.

Building bike infrastructure actually creates more jobs than simply resurfacing or adding onto additional roads.


Glad to see that you pointed this out - I've read the articles regarding the study and I hope it gets more traction.

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