Skip to main content

Study: bike lanes don’t cause traffic jams

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Minneapolis’ new bike lanes have not led to an increase in traffic jams, according to a new analysis by the data crunchers at FiveThirtyEight.

For the study, researchers looked at the 10 road segments that gained a bike lane at the cost of a driving lane as Minneapolis builds out 45 miles of new bike lanes across the city.

Minneapolis’ efforts are part of a Twin Cities-wide multi-million dollar expansion of bike lanes and other infrastructure for its bikeway system. The build out includes new on-street striping, signs, traffic calming and other measures to make walking and cycling easier and safer, MPR News reports.

FiveThirtyEight says researchers chose Minneapolis for its analysis because of its high-ranking as a top cycling city. 

Despite those high marks, driver complaints over sharing the road with cyclists and bike lanes are still common.

But FiveThirtyEight researchers found their concerns are baseless.

They looked at rush hour data showing how many cars were traveling in the busiest direction during peak travel time to measure how “full” each road was.

The data showed that while the volume of traffic on streets increased, it didn’t slow down traffic.

They say bike lanes don’t cause a lot more congestion if you put them on the right streets.

If you cut down the size of streets that are already near capacity, you’ll create severe congestion. But if you start with roads that are well under capacity, you’ll only increase the congestion a little bit. And it may not even be noticeable. Slimming down these roads that are too “fat” is known as a road diet — and yes, that is the technical term.

Check out this cool graph:

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 10.02.59 AM

North Dakota's only abortion clinic relocating to Minnesota

A GoFundMe set up to help the clinic make the move to Minnesota has surpassed its $500,000 goal.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 12.37.03 PM

Deadly vehicle fire on Interstate 94 west of Fargo

The victim's age and name have not been released.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

Overturning Roe v. Wade won't do a 'damn thing' to prevent abortions, Walz says

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Saturday meant to protect abortion access in the state and people who come from out of state seeking one.


Man crossing Highway 13 in Burnsville fatally struck by driver

The victim is a 31-year-old man from Prior Lake.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 7.50.33 AM

4 shot near Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.55.28 PM

Charges: Cop feared for his life during struggle for gun with suspect

Allen Denzel Oliver-Hall has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Burnsville, Minnesota - May 2019 (2)

Shootout near Erik's Bike Shop, Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville

Police say youths were shooting at each other on Saturday afternoon.

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 11.01.17 AM

Woman breaks free after being kidnapped and taken to Brooklyn Park

The woman was taken by force as she arrived at her work in Plymouth.