SHOCKING NEWS: Correlation Exists b/w Bike Lanes and Ridership
I know…It sounds too far fetched to be true, but recent research from Portland, OR and New York, NY demonstrate that the numbers suggest that people are more inclined to ride bicycles for transportation when bike friendly “infrastructure” (i.e. a couple of white lines on the side of the road delineating a bike lane) is in place. Here’s a brief excerpt from a related post from Planetizen:
In short, a clear relationship exists between the expansion of bikeway infrastructure, daily ridership and safety. As demand rises, American cities are doing more to accomodate this squeaky clean mode of transport. In turn, more people are bicycling while bicycle related injuries are not rising proportionately–a so-called ‘virtuous cycle.’
My car has not moved more than a handful of times since I moved to Philadelphia for school and I can’t really say that I miss driving (and parking in particular). The trip to school is about a 25-30 minute walk or a 10 minute bike ride. Unfortunately, only about a third of the ride home is in a designated bike lane. The rest is on the street and half of the total ride each way is on Market Street heading over the Schuylkill River, past 30th Street Station and into University City. It’s a pretty busy stretch of road with plenty of bus and cab traffic, so it’s can be a harrowing ride. If the traffic is too heavy, I end up riding slowly along the sidewalk (not the best for pedestrians, I know). Generally, Philadelphia seems to be a pretty bike-friendly city (as long as you have a sturdy lock) but the difference between riding on a street with a bike-lane and one without is like night and day. Spiked gas prices during the warmer months surely had an impact on the increase in the number of cyclists, but the bike lanes surely don’t hurt.
I do not anticipate many Friday night posts, but with a 9 a.m. exam tomorrow morning, it’s a good diversion.