70% of US Mayors Prefer Bike Lanes over Parking or Extra Driving Lanes

Published on January 31st, 2016 | by

January 31st, 2016 by

 
A substantial majority of US mayors would prefer to see more biking lanes in their cities, even at the expense of street-side parking or extra driving/passing lanes, according to a new survey from the US Conference of Mayors.

The 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors — which queried 89 different mayors, from a variety of economically and demographically different cities — found that around 70% of those asked were of the opinion that bike lanes “are important enough to US roads that it’s worth converting parking and driving lanes to make room.”

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It’s of course arguable as well, it should be noted, that reducing car traffic in downtown areas is a good way of increasing pedestrian traffic — walking in areas with less (and slower, less frantic) auto traffic is simply more enjoyable. So the promotion of bike lanes has some notable knock-in effects as well, rather than simply direct ones.

Interestingly, the support is relatively bipartisan, with many of those identifying as Republicans supporting the preference for bike lanes.

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“Cycling infrastructure emerged as a strong priority for mayors, garnering strong support overall and support — albeit in varying degrees — from mayors of both parties,” the Conference of Mayors stated in its recent survey analysis.

Given that mayors often have a good grasp of the issues within their cities (and the likely effects of potential policy actions) — as perhaps opposed to those in charge of larger entities, such as countries — it probably shouldn’t be surprising to see that support for bike lanes is strong. The positive effects of policy support for bicycling has become more and more apparent in recent years, so why wouldn’t a mayor be able to see that?

People for Bikes goes into further detail, for those interested in learning more about the findings of the survey.