Comment 75347

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted March 21, 2012 at 16:48:29 in reply to Comment 75338

And all of the accompanying citations would indicate that there appears to be ample evidence on both sides of the equation, for and against bike lanes. Here are choice quotes/rebuttals to your points.

Less wear and tear - In 2007 the city of Copenhagen spent DKK 9.9 million (US$1.72 million, €1.33 million) annually on maintaining its cycle track network. While this is not really showing reasons against wear and tear, it is an additional cost. Also see Lower vehicle emissions.

Lower public health costs - This I won't dispute. There is no question cycling offers tangible health benefits, which is why I am for upgrading existing leisure exclusive cycling infrastructure (trails, parks, etc) and pedestrian infrastructure as walking also provides tangible health benefits.

Lower vehicle emissions - In the UK, a ten-year study of the effect of cycle facilities in eight towns and cities found no evidence that they had resulted in any diversion from other transport modes.

Safety - Studies that also found negative safety aspects of cycle tracks also come from Linderholm, Sweden, and from Jensen et al., Denmark In the United Kingdom, the UK Cycle Campaign Network made a 2007 statement that they know "of no evidence that cycle facilities and in particular cycle lanes, generally lead to safer conditions for cycling".

There are studies that promote and favor both sides of this issue. So this is when the question becomes is this a worthwhile investment? I would say at this time, no. Why? Well here's another choice quote.

In relation to the UK, it has been argued that locally high levels of cycling are more likely to result from factors other than cycle facilities. These include an existing cycling culture and historically high levels of cycle use, compact urban forms, lack of hills and lack of barriers such as high speed intersections.

Meaning, it becomes worthwhile when a massive urban overhaul is done and existing culture is present. The former is accomplished better by pedestrian initiatives and intensification, the later is brought about by leisure based cycling initiatives.

A point though I want to stress, which I did not bring forward earlier, is our city is dealing with a limited budget right now. The Pan-Am games and soul crushing infrastructure costs that our city faces means that we need to start being cautious with our investments, and bike lanes aren't a cautious investment to me a this point, given evidence on both sides. Nor do they appear to be a practical fiscal investment, when compared to other urban intensification initiatives.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2012-03-21 17:31:04

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