Safer infrastructure can drive a surge in cycling

Acknowledging that highway investments drive up car use and traffic, transportation professionals and advocates have grown more interested in accounting for induced demand in transportation investments. But the laws of induced demand are not limited to highways. As several cities have shown, investing in bicycle infrastructure can increase bike use by 100% or more.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, installed separated bike lanes in each direction along a half-mile section of Garden Street. Just a few months later, in the middle of winter, bike volumes more than doubled in the surrounding area, according to analysis by the Boston Cyclists Union. For comparison, bike use in the rest of the city dropped slightly during the same winter months, as bikeshare data indicates.

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