Why Bike Lanes Don’t Make Traffic Worse?

As cities throughout the world aim to lessen our dependency on cars to combat climate catastrophe, there has been a surge in new bike lanes.

However, towards the end of 2021, a series of headlines blaming cycle lanes for greater congestion in London began to surface.

All of the articles mention a claim made by the team behind this study, which claims that the implementation of cycle lanes in London has a detrimental impact on congestion.

Explaining that the use of roads is all about supply and demand and that if demand increases but road space is shared with other modes of transportation, there will be less asphalt for automobiles to drive on.

Kindly please read this article till the end in order to extract some valuable information from the same topic.

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Why Bike Lanes Don’t Make Traffic Worse?


The a40 flyover section was built to relieve congestion in west London, but when it opened in the 1970s, vehicle numbers skyrocketed as people rushed to use it, and traffic on the parallel main roads around it,

Which it was supposed to alleviate, skyrocketed as well, completely defeating the purpose.

This is because when a road is expanded, driving becomes faster and easier in the short term, making driving more appealing.

As a result, more people are likely to use their automobiles than usual, resulting in more cars on the road.

And all that extra space quickly disappears now there is a limit to all of this. if you make a 10-lane motorway into 100 lanes. you could travel without seeing another car for miles.

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What You Should Be Aware of?

What impact does the implementation of new bike lanes have, something that the level of service argument cannot account for?

The induced demand effect also works in reverse, which means that reducing road capacity by adding new bike lanes, for example, has an immediate impact, but car travel becomes slower and more congested in the short term, discouraging road use.

As a result, congestion will largely return to previous levels, if not decrease. It’s known as traffic evaporation, and there are several case studies in the UK and around the world to back this up.

Road limitations in Paris have resulted in a 5 percent reduction in car traffic. Since 2010, the city has seen a 54 percent rise in bicycle use from September 2018 to September 2019.

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Of course, some people may need to continue making the same travels even if they take longer, but many drivers will adjust their travel habits in order to avoid sitting in traffic.


People making decisions about where, when, and how they go from one place to another is what traffic is all about.

This means that taking road space away from cars and giving it to cyclists will often alleviate traffic congestion by making car travel less appealing while enticing people to take public transportation or walk across.

The average person in the UK makes five short car trips per week, and between 32 and 41 percent of people indicated they could just as easily walk, cycle, or take the bus.

Tfl estimates that over a million automobile trips in London are potentially cyclable each day and that as more cycling infrastructure is made accessible, more people are opting to utilize it.

With a 200 percent rise in riding in London alone since the outbreak, the global study that labels London the most congested city in the world intentionally ignores cities in Asia and Africa, and even goes so far as to blame bike lanes for congestion.

Final Conclusion on Why Bike Lanes Don’t Make Traffic Worse

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