Protected Bike Lanes: How New York City Made It Happen
Matt Kohler takes a closer look at a new video featuring Janette Sadik-Khan, former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, discussing the benefits and challenges of putting in protected bike lanes. Sadik-Khan came on board in 2007, and she describes the biking environment of New York up until that point as dangerous for cyclists.
She was behind the first protected bike lane in the United States, a route on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan, with a design that made the street much safer for bikers. It was a difficult project to implement because parking would be eliminated for the lane and people feared the outcome of that change. “However, reducing the share of road space for cars didn’t usher in the apocalypse, and the protected bicycleway turned out to be a boon for the local economy,” reports Kohler.
In addition, the number of crashes with injuries went down by almost 50 percent and traffic flowed better. Sadik-Kahn says the protected bike lane created a street that is better for all stakeholders – businesses, drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Developing safe and reliable networks of bike lanes is one of the best investments that cities can make, she says.