Tulane study shows bike lanes lead to increase in cyclers
by CityBusiness staff reports
Published: January 7th, 2011
Are the new bicycle lanes on New Orleans streets enticing more people to ride their bikes? A new Tulane University study says that’s the case on St. Claude Avenue, the first street where lanes have been striped and dedicated to bicyclists.
Kathryn Parker, assistant director of Tulane’s Prevention Research Center, was lead author of the study that found a 57 percent increase in the average number of riders per day during a two-week period in November 2008 — six months after the lanes were installed — compared with the same month a year earlier when no lanes existed.
Parker’s research is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health and, according to Tulane, one of the few to examine cycling for an extended time period before and after lane installation.
“These findings suggest that bike lanes are well-suited to New Orleans,” says Parker. “Installing bike lanes is a cost-effective means of encouraging residents to be physically active for transportation and recreation.”
Observers counted cyclists in a designated area along St. Claude for nine hours daily. Average ridership increased to almost 143 cyclists per day, up from 91 before the bike lanes were created.
Photo by Andrew Huff
The new lanes had the biggest statistical impact on female cyclists, with the average daily number of women riding increasing 133 percent.
To make sure the increase could be credited to the new lanes, authors discounted other factors that could have increased cycling – fuel costs and population increases. The average price for a gallon of gas fell by almost $1 during the two study periods, and census estimates showed a 17 percent increase in population for nearby neighborhoods during the year.Complete URL: http://neworleanscitybusiness.com/blog/2011/01/07/tulane-study-shows-bike-lanes-lead-to-increase-in-cyclers/