Parking-Protected Bikeways: Big Successes in Oakland, New York, Chicago

Minneapolis already has several examples of locally successful parking protected bike lanes, including 11th Ave S and Oak Street SE.  Let’s explore the impacts and success of parking-protected bike lanes in other cities.

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As our local officials work to finalize designs for the last portion of the Washington Ave reconstruction, the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition has been advocating for the design that accommodates a parking protected bikeway on both sides of Washington Ave from 5th Ave to 35W.

Why parking protected bike lanes? For this last stretch of the corridor, it’s the best option to provide a safe, protected bikeway connecting downtown with the University of Minnesota West Bank Campus. 

Here's a few examples of parking protected bike lanes working on other busy streets around the country.

Safety Gets a Boost on Telegraph Avenue (Oakland, CA )

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Photo credit New York City DOT
 

In 2015, the city of Oakland installed parking protected bike lanes on either side of Telegraph Avenue, a busy corridor in the heart of downtown.  The results have been nothing short of spectacular:

  • Total number of collisions decreased by 40% (vs. annual averages from 2012 to 2015)
  • For the first time in 5 years, not a single pedestrian crosswalk collision reported in 2016
  • Cycling increased by 78% in the corridor; walking is up by 100%
  • Motorist speeding has gone down

While it is difficult to determine impact on economic activity in the area, it appears that there have been minimal impacts to business. Local business sales taxes increased in 2016, and five new businesses opened in the neighborhood since the project was completed. 

Traffic Flows Smoothly on Columbus Avenue (New York, NY)

Parking-protected bikeways were installed on 32 blocks of Columbus Avenue in New York City in 2011. The NYC Department of Transportation collected data before and after, and was pleased to discover that the bikeway had high usage – and very little impact on motorized traffic.

After installation:

  • Cycling increased by 48%
  • Average travel time for vehicles through the corridor dropped 35%
  • Average daily vehicle volume was steady, with decreases of only 9% and 2% during peak AM/PM rush hour periods
  • Vehicles breaking the speed limit decreased from 14% to 6%

Improving Safety Perceptions on Milwaukee Avenue (Chicago, IL)

The Milwaukee Avenue parking protected bike lanes were installed in the summer of 2013. The 0.8 mile corridor carries 12,000 vehicles daily between downtown Chicago and its northwest neighborhoods, and had previously had painted bike lanes, without additional protection.

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After installation:

  • Cycling increased by 21%
  • 91% of cyclists reported the new configuration “does a good job at protecting bikes from cars.”
  • 74% of all residents in the corridor agreed that safety of bicycling had increased
  • 28% of all residents in the corridor reported that safety of driving on the road had increased