Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dedicated Bike Lanes and Their Impact in New York City

According to the website America Bikes, Americans are increasingly searching for personal solutions to tight family budgets, rising health care costs, and time wasted in traffic. As a society, we are facing monumental challenges relating to climate change, pollution, and oil dependence. Despite a small current investment of resources, bicycling and walking already account for 10 percent of all trips made by Americans. The potential clearly exists to double that share: forty percent of all trips in the United States are just two miles or less, and yet the vast majority are made by car. These short car trips are the most polluting and energy intensive as well as the easiest to shift to bicycling and walking.

Continuing and strengthening our investment in bicycling and walking will enable our nation to move decisively towards a goal of increasing the share of trips taken by these modes from 10 percent to 20 percent. Such a shift from driving to bicycling and walking will provide tens of billions of dollars per year in economic, health, tourism, energy, environmental, safety, and congestion-related benefits.

America Bikes recent highlighted a study by the New York City DOT called Measuring the Street that shows that streets that safely accommodate bicycle and pedestrian travel are especially good at boosting small businesses, even in a recession. NYC DOT found that protected bikeways had a significant positive impact on local business strength. After the construction of a protected bicycle lane on 9th Avenue, local businesses saw a 49% increase in retail sales. In comparison, local businesses throughout Manhattan only saw a 3% increase in retail sales.

Below are two infographics from the report that highlight some of the advantages of dedicated bike lanes have for those riding, as well as other people using the roadways, pedestrians and local businesses.

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