More Bikes Lanes On Less Congested Roads

Comparison of before and after counts of vehicular volume-to-capacity ratio shows replacing car lanes with bike lanes may not adversely impact vehicle traffic when bike lanes are constructed on less congested streets.

Gretchen Johnson and Aaron Johnson seek to answer how new bike lanes impact drivers, especially when they take the place of an existing vehicle lane: “It seems that unless a ton of people start commuting by bicycle, giving away a lane would cause increased car traffic. But is this really the case?”

By comparing vehicular volume-to-capacity (V/C) ratio before and after bike lanes have been added, Johnson and Johnson reveal that: “Taking away a lane does significantly increase the estimated V/C ratio during rush hour...But it’s not at a high enough V/C ratio where traffic will get really congested and start slowing down.”

Their recommendations regarding where to place new bike lanes: “Bike lanes don’t cause a lot more congestion if you put them on the right streets…if you start with roads that are well under capacity, you’ll only increase the congestion a little bit. And it may not even be noticeable.” 

Full Story: Bike Lanes Don’t Cause Traffic Jams If You’re Smart About Where You Build Them

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