Why protected bike lanes are more valuable than parking spaces

Why protected bike lanes are more valuable than parking spaces


Let’s be honest: You could get doored. Or hit by a bus. If you were a cyclist in new york city, in
the 2000s, it was almost like you were a cast member
from Escape From New York Maybe if you were an extreme sports person,
it was fantastic for you Because you were dodging cars, It was not a place to have any kind of safe
commuting regular transport experience Today, New York City is seeing explosive growth
in cycle commutes. So, how did a city with traffic like this
get so many people biking downtown? [Vox] From 2007 to 2013, Janette Sadik-Khan led
New York City’s Department of Transportation. I was responsible for 6000 miles of street, 789 bridges, 12000 signalized intersections, 1.3 million street signs, We put down 400 miles of on street bike lanes, including one of the first parking protected bike lanes in the united states, and we did it on 9th Avenue Between 23rd street and 16th street. This lane was significant, because it was
an early parking protected design. It’s much less stressful than conventional lanes. But installing it was quite controversial. Because making the space for protected lanes meant the elimination of parking. Taking away parking spaces is not for the
faint of heart. And there is no super secret magic recipe
that’s going to make it easier to do. But you need to make a case about what you are trying to do, right? The 9th Avenue pilot ran for 6 blocks And if you look at the blueprint for the street, You’ll notice an alternating pattern On blocks with right-hand turns, there’s
an entire lane of parking. But at left-turn turns, those parking spots are sacrificed for a barrier The vehicles will wait next to the bike lane
here, And separate signals for cars and bikes stagger, to reduce stress at the intersection. Data show that the 9th Avenue bike lane
produced economic, mobility, and safety benefits. we saw crashes go down, some 47%. retail sales went up almost 49% Cars had dedicated turn lanes, so the traffic processed much better. And bikers got a dedicated lane. So it was a win for business, it was a win
for drivers, it was a win for people on foot. And it was a win for people on two wheels. And that really set the stage for all that
followed. Once the city analyzed data from the 9th Avenue pilot, the miles of protected lane in New York skyrocketed. By 2018, the city had nearly 1200 miles of bike lane. And 100 of those were protected. Because we weren’t going to accommodate a million more people by double decking our streets and highways. And so designing streets for people, that
make it easier to bike, easier to walk, and easier to take the bus — that’s the kind of recipe for future success of cities. the cities that make these kinds of investments and changes are the cities that are growing and thriving in this century. But to really draw a crowd of cyclists, a
city needs a network of low-stress bike lanes. you can’t just paint sharrows on a street
and expect that people are going to voila, start biking. It needs to be a reliable system, and it needs to be safe. The way that we look at the health of bike
lanes, and our bike lane network, is how many women and children are using the lanes. When you see women and children in the lanes, and families in the lane, you know that it’s safe. Families, among other individuals, would fall into the ‘interested, but
concerned’ group on this chart. It’s from one survey taken in Oregon. But consensus in the transportation field
suggests that this group is the untapped potential for cities who want to promote cycling. Which is the big factor behind New York’s
boom in urban cycling. And it was pretty cost effective, too. You know, the bike lanes were like 99%
of our headlines, but they were only 1% of the budget. I don’t think there’s a better investment. If you want to build a better city, you can
start by building better bike lanes.