Study praises protected bike lanes in Chicago, other cities

By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas


4:37 PM CDT, June 3, 2014


Chicago’s cyclists like it with protection, according to a new study on the effectiveness of protected bike lanes.

The report, by Portland State University's National Institute for Transportation and Communities, found that protected bike lanes increase ridership and promote safety.

The study looked at ridership on roads in five cities, including two in Chicago: Milwaukee Avenue and Dearborn Street. It's the first multi-city academic study of protected bike lanes in the U.S., according to the bicycle and transportation news site StreetsBlog.

Overall, the report found that more than 25 percent of cyclists say they are riding more because of the protected bike lanes, and that a protected bike lane increases bicycle traffic by an average of 72 percent in just its first year of existence.

After surveying city residents who live near protected bike lanes about how the lanes affected the desirability of their neighborhoods, the study found that 43 percent said the lanes had increased desirability. Only 14 percent disagreed, saying that bike lanes decreased desirability.

Here are some Chicago-specific findings from the report:

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