BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — The number of protected bike lanes, also called "green lanes," in the U.S. has doubled in 2012 and is on track to double again next year, according to Bikes Belong.
Green lanes have a physical separation, such as a curb, parked cars or plastic posts, between moving cars and bikes.
"Increasingly, U.S. cities want to make riding a bike a practical and comfortable way to get around for short trips," said Martha Roskowski, director of the Green Lane Project. "The growing popularity of urban living, the decline in driving by young people and a desire for more attractive public places are inspiring cash-strapped cities to focus on retrofitting existing streets to make them work better for all users."
A new study shows 102 protected green lanes in 32 U.S. cities at the end of 2012. U.S. communities are projected to add another 100 green lanes in 2013.
A recent study in Washington, D.C., revealed bicycling increased 200 percent on Pennsylvania Avenue after green lanes were installed there.
"The numbers make it very clear that if we change how the streets work, we change how people travel," said Roskowski. "Building safe, appealing places to ride is the number one way we can encourage more people to hop on a bike. You can't market people into feeling safe; it starts on the ground with the proper infrastructure."
The Green Lane Project was launched in early 2012 by the Bikes Belong Foundation and is working with six leading cities to help them put green lanes on the ground.