Study: bike lanes don’t cause traffic jams


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

Gary Kubiak

Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announces retirement

Kubiak wraps up a career that has spanned nearly four decades.


Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

coronavirus testing

Don't want to talk to a contact tracer? MN debuts online option after positive test

The department says the survey will allow its staff to keep track of more cases at a faster pace

Family Dollar

Money Gal Coaching: 12 things you are wasting your money on

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

police lights

Three teens charged in Minneapolis robberies

The incidents took place on Saturday in Minneapolis.

covid-19, coronavirus, ppe

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

icy roads, bad roads

Girl, 16, killed in crash with semi on icy Minnesota road

The crash happened in Dodge County around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

police lights

Road rage incident sees driver punch out man's window, punch him in face

The incident happened in Waite Park Wednesday morning.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.