Bike lanes really do help cars go faster
Yes! This is one of those moments of bike triumphalism where we get to say: We told you so! Bikes and bike infrastructure are good for everyone. Even people who prefer to transport themselves from place to place in four-wheeled vehicles.
New York has been installing what is technically know as “a helluva lot of bike and pedestrian infrastructure.” Sometimes this infrastructure leaves less room for cars. And guess what? According to data collected by the city, cars move through traffic more quickly. Or at least cabs do. (Why are you trying to drive in NYC anyway?)
According to the New York City Transportation Department, a lengthy campaign to reallocate street space for cyclists and pedestrians has produced a curious result: If anything, officials said, cars are moving more quickly in the city’s most congested areas.
Citing GPS data from the city’s yellow cabs, the Bloomberg administration said that average traffic speeds in Manhattan’s primary central business district, south of 60th Street, had increased nearly 7 percent since 2008.
This has all happened as traffic has stayed more or less stable, as Streetsblog reports:
The report, which gathers data from the MTA, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and DOT’s own counts, also shows that the volume of traffic entering Manhattan has basically stayed flat since 2009. At the same time, transit ridership has started to rebound from the recession and service cuts.
So, cyclists are safer, cars go faster, everyone wins! We’re just going to take the rest of the afternoon off and celebrate this one.
In Bloomberg’s City of Bike Lanes, Data Show, Cabs Gain a Little Speed, New York Times.