The rise of biking and protected bike lanes in the United States (video)

green bike lane project memphis mayor
Screen capture PeopleForBikes

Another phase of the wonderful Green Lane Project has just been announced, and PeopleForBikes has taken the opportunity to highlight biking and protected bike lane growth in the United States through a new video.

The video below notes that 48% of all trips in the US are 4 miles or less, very bikeable distances. The video also notes that biking has increased 53% in the US since 2005. The video then goes on to highlight how special and helpful protected bike lanes are. There are plenty of beautiful clips on protected bike lanes in place across the US that I think help us to see that there are places in the US that are actually getting quite bike friendly.

But protected bike lanes don't only help bicyclists, PeopleForBikes notes. Protected bike lanes have been shown to reduce traffic crashes for all users by 34%. Aside from making bicycling safer, these protected bike lanes help to make drivers more aware of their surroundings and more cautious. They may also be related to "road diets" that slim roads enough that they no longer encourage drivers to speed dangerously along them and, especially, around corners. Plenty of research has shown that the engineering of a road can have a stronger influence on driving speeds than clearly posted speed limits.

One final fact PeopleForBikes highlights is that "96% of people said protected bike lanes make them feel safer on the street." This is nothing new. Dozens of studies of different sorts of found similar statistics regarding people's preference for protected bike lanes. The difference today is that cities are finally building a lot more of these bike facilities. After watching the video, keep reading for info on the latest Green Lane Project announcement.

The Rise of Protected Bike Lanes in the U.S. from Green Lane Project on Vimeo.

Mike wrote about the Green Lane Project here on TreeHugger back in February 2013:

The Green Lane Project is a partnership between bike advocacy groups and six U.S. cities (Austin, Chicago, Memphis, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, DC.) that aims to "catalyze the creation of world-class protected bicycling networks on American streets". Each of the six cities has done great things, but the beauty of the partnership is that they can all learn from each others and share best practice.

The news now is that 6 new cities have been added to the Department of Transportation and PeopleForBikes project. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the additions in Indianapolis recently: Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. If you live in one of these cities, expect to see some good, protected bike lanes popping up soon.

And if someone brings up cost, remind them that 1 mile of protected bike lane is approximately 100x cheaper than 1 mile of highway.

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