What Cities Should Consider Before Creating Bike Lanes

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October 19, 2016

Urban cyclists and automobile drivers already have a complicated relationship. When cities rush to add bike lanes, that relationship becomes even more strained.

Alex Marshall of Governing writes that localities need to be mindful when carving out street space for cyclists.

Street space is perhaps a city’s or town’s most valuable asset. When adding bike lanes, there are a number of goals -- sometimes conflicting ones -- that policymakers must pick and choose from, such as how many cyclists should be using the lanes, whether traffic congestion is impacted (for both cars and bikes), the amount of economic development spurred and even general population health effects.

Marshall writes that protected bike lanes, where cyclists are physically separated from street traffic, are great, but that cities should adopt these at a reasonable pace.

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