Bike lanes help cars go faster

New York City bike lane
CC BY 2.0 Flicker user Meghan Newell

Despite the cries that bike lanes worsen congestion in New York City (in 2011 the New York Post wrote that you''ll "appreciate the DOT’s stupidity" as soon as you get stuck in traffic on Broadway or Allen), but new data from the Transportation Department suggest just the opposite.

According to a report called the Sustainable Streets Index, the average speed of vehicles in Manhattan south of 60th Street rose modestly by 0.3 percent. The speeds were collected from taxi cab GPS systems. The quicker pace isn't the result of fewer cars; the report says that number of vehicles entering this part of the city "has been roughly flat."

The New York Times reports that the Department of Transportation isn't trying to favor one form of travel over another:

“We’re not, despite our reputation, trying to take from one and give to the other,” Bruce Schaller, the department’s deputy commissioner for traffic and planning, said. “It isn’t a zero-sum game.”

Bike lanes help cars go faster
Data from the New York City Transportation Department shows that auto traffic flows better with addition of bike lanes.