Chart of the Day: Sidewalk Biking and Protected Lanes

Here’s an interesting chart from People for Bikes that brings together some research on how protected bike lanes affect “sidewalk riding” in a few cities. It’s important to keep this in mind, that a good bike project isn’t just about bicyclists, but also about improving the pedestrian and sidewalk experience. Nobody on foot or on a bike really wants to share sidewalk space!

sidewalk biking chart

Here’s the conclusion from the blogpost:

From August 2014 (before barriers were installed) to February 2015 (after), the number of bikes using King Street (both directions, road bed and sidewalk combined) soared 71 percent.

And in the same period, Honolulu bicycle coordinator Chris Sayers said Monday, the number of bikes on the sidewalk plummeted 65 percent.

That’s no big surprise, because someone biking on a sidewalk is just trying to ride in the protected bike lane that isn’t there. When cities make part of a street comfortable to bike in, people naturally choose to use it.

Good lesson for the protected bike projects in both downtowns!

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.