Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Protected Bike Lanes Mean Safer Streets in Chicago

All Chicagoans should feel safer on their city's streets—whether driving, walking or riding a bike. No matter if you're an 8-year-old child or 80-year-old grandmother, they should be able to ride a bike in the city without fearing for their safety.

Protected bike lanes are designed with all kinds of people in mind. I believe they make biking a safe and easy option for everyone. Protected bike lanes use physical barriers or buffers between people riding bikes and motorized traffic to help cyclists feel more comfortable on the street. By providing a physically separated space on the roadway for bicylists, protected lanes help reduce conflicts by encouraging predictable and responsible behavior by all street users. As a result, the street become a safer place for everyone.

Some numbers that bear repeating

  • People want safer streets: A Portland, OR study found that 60 percent of the public would be interested in biking, but do not for fear of safety.
  • Protected lanes reduce crashes: New York City's protected lane on 9th Avenue led to a 56 percent reduction in injuries to all street users and an 84 percent reduction in sidewalk riding.
  • Protected lanes increase ridership: New York City's Prospect Park West protected lane saw a 190 percent increase in weekday ridership, with 32 percent of those cyclists under age 12.

Active Trans’ Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign is working for the creation of a 100-mile network of protected bikeways that will reduce crashes and increase ridership while connecting Chicago neighborhoods.
Learn more and join the campaign.


  1. I am very interested in the statistics you cited. Do you have a reference for those studies? Thanks!

  2. @Anonymous, the 2 New York studies came from NYC DOT. There are lots of good statistics here http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/bikestats.shtml
    The Portland study came from the Portland Bureau of Transportation and a presentation they gave on Why People Aren't Cycling

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