Urban Velo

Bike Lanes and Non-Collisions

According to a paper published by the American Journal of Public Health, an increase in bike lanes in New York City did NOT lead to an increase of collisions between cyclists and others, despite the increased number of cyclists said bike lanes influenced.

As the paper summarized,

Results. Installation of bicycle lanes did not lead to an increase in crashes, despite the probable increase in the number of bicyclists. The most likely explanations for the lack of increase in crashes are reduced vehicular speeds and fewer conflicts between vehicles and bicyclists after installation of these lanes.

Conclusions. Our results indicate that characteristics of the built environment have a direct impact on crashes and that they should thus be controlled in studies evaluating traffic countermeasures such as bicycle lanes. To prevent crashes at intersections, we recommend installation of “bike boxes” and markings that indicate the path of bicycle lanes across intersections.

Or in other words….duh. No, I kid. These studies can be crucial in convincing stodgy NIMBY types that their fears are unfounded and that bicycle infrastructure is crucial for increasing quality of life and that they won’t wreak havoc upon our cities.

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

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4 Comments

  1. BrianVanJune 13, 2012 at 8:58 am

    “These studies can be crucial in convincing stodgy NIMBY types that their fears are unfounded”

    I won’t hold my breath on that. They seem immune to reasoning.

  2. The Bike Pittsburgh Blog Archives » Week’s Links: 6.15.12June 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

    [...] A new study shows that there are less crashes when bike lanes are present, due in part to slower [...]

  3. John BrookingJune 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I’m not a statistician, but one thing that leaped out at me from the abstract was that they compared “changes in police-reported crashes”. So, how many car/bike crashes routinely get a police report in the first place? Not many, whether there is any bike infrastructure or not. That methodology makes me question the validity of the conclusion right from the start. The best one could say is that the installation of bicycle facilities makes no difference to the number of car/bike crashes THAT GET REPORTED TO THE POLICE. That I would believe. That says nothing one way or the other (nor am I) about how many actually occurred. Most of the authorities only notice car/bike crashes if there is a fatality involved, or motor vehicle damage. On local roads, fatalities may not change much if at all, since most crashes are already lower speed.

  4. Bike Pittsburgh | Week’s Links: 6.15.12April 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    [...] A new study shows that there are less crashes when bike lanes are present, due in part to slower [...]

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