Bikes Infrastructure Makes Traffic Run Smoother

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 22

In Manhattan they did anyway, with the help of more pedestrians and higher transit rates, as well as the new bike share program.



After several blocks in the heart of Times Square were pedestrianized and protected bike lanes were added to five avenues in the middle of Manhattan, motor vehicle traffic is actually moving more smoothly than before, according to the latest release of NYC DOT’s annual Sustainable Streets Index [PDF].

The report, which gathers data from the MTA, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and DOT’s own counts, also shows that the volume of traffic entering Manhattan has basically stayed flat since 2009. At the same time, transit ridership has started to rebound from the recession and service cuts.

Even with population and employment levels increasing after the recession, car traffic into the Manhattan CBD declined 1.7 percent in 2011. Since 2003, traffic volumes are down 6.5 percent, while transit trips to the area have increased 11.3 percent.

The annual report incorporates numbers on bike-share usage. Between the Memorial Day launch and August 26, Citi Bike riders made more than 2.5 million trips covering more than 5.5 million miles. There have been eight crashes involving Citi Bikes, none causing injuries classified as serious. Of stations sampled during the final two weeks of July, the busiest included those near hubs like Grand Central Terminal and Union Square.


Read the rest of this fascinating article here. It seems obvious that if you take a bunch of people out of cars and instead they take public transit/ride a bike/ or walk that traffic would move better, but its always nice to see some real world data to prove it.

What I think is the real take home from this study is that peoples lives are improving.  They are being more healthy (even public transit is healthier than driving).  They are saving money, they are reducing their impact on the planet, and even the people who are still trapped in their cars are happier because traffic is moving smoothly.  I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they were happier as well.  Its a win win win win.

People defend cars, and get very upset when you try to make it harder to use them, but they really have so very few benefits and so very many drawbacks.  I think what we are seeing is that this fact is finally sinking in.

Thanks Ben for the heads up on this.

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