Removing a Vehicle Lane? It’s Not the End of the World

Most members of the public are still very skeptical that removing a vehicle lane won’t cause terrible congestion—especially on already busy streets. A recent articles details some of the counter arguments to those concerns.
Brandon O'Connor / flickr

In anticipation of Calgrary’s proposal to build a network of cycle tracks in its downtown, Tom Babin explores claims that removing travel lanes won’t wreak traffic havoc on the city.

The most controversial of the proposed plans: to turn a lane of traffic on 1 Street S.E./Macleod Trail downtown into a cycle track—one of four lanes on the road would be given to bikers.

“Doubts about the idea turned to outright skepticism when a traffic study was presented as part of the proposal that said the cycle track would lead to an increase in travel time on 1st Street by a mere 30 to 60 seconds during the evening commute,” writes Babin.

Skeptical, Babin consulted with Rock Miller, the Irvine, CA-based transportation planner and traffic engineer who prepared the report. Miller explains concepts like extra capacity and turning lights. Miller even suggests that travel times might even improve on the street.

Still skeptical, Babin questions Sandeep Agrawal, a professor and director of the Planning Program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, who lays out a very strong argument: “Whenever you remove a travel lane and put in a bike lane, the bike lane gets a bad rap…The question is, if those people (on bikes) were in cars, how much would it have delayed traffic? They probably would have delayed it more.”

Full Story: Remove a lane to improve traffic? Expert explains his Calgary’s cycle track proposal


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.