The Case for More Bike Lanes

A bike lane in a city street.

The Case for More Bike Lanes

Discussions about the benefits of bike lanes are often greeted with scepticism, but there are many proven benefits to having bike lanes in towns and cities and, consequently, the case for more bike lane infrastructure is getting stronger by the day. As experienced town and urban planners, the town planning team at Arnold Development Consultants recognises the inherent benefits that bike lane infrastructure delivers and believes that increasing the scale and scope of this infrastructure is beneficial for us all. Here are some of the main benefits:

Less Traffic Congestion, And Noise And Air Pollution

One of the most widely cited arguments for increased bike lane infrastructure, the reduction in traffic congestion, and subsequent reductions in noise and air pollution, are major benefits for all Australians residing in large towns and cities. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have struggled with traffic congestion for years now, and smaller cities like Perth and Adelaide are also experiencing major traffic congestion issues.

The implementation of more bike lanes is proven to reduce the number of cars on the road which has a direct effect on air and noise pollution, both of which are major issues here in Australia and around the world that town and city planners are working to manage.

Better Health For Residents And Workers

With reduced pollution and bike lanes that make cycling safer and more appealing, people living and working in large towns and cities will enjoy better physical and mental health.

Noise pollution negatively affects mental health, while air pollution is a leading contributor of respiratory health complications. This means efforts must be made to minimise pollution through forward-thinking urban development programs, and bike lanes can help to achieve that. What’s more, cycling is also great for your health, so providing more opportunities for residents to commute and cycle around town will also have many positive health benefits.

Bike Lanes Are Great For Business And Property Prices

An argument against creating more bike lanes in cities is that it’s bad for business. This could not be further from the truth. Research here in Australia and the US shows that increasing bike infrastructure increases retail sales, and that gives local businesses a great reason to lobby and have local councils implement more bike lanes. A study in San Francisco showed that 66% of businesses noticed an improvement in sales after sidewalks were widened and more bike lanes were added, and an Australian study shows that in areas with bike parking, businesses enjoyed up to three times as much revenue as those in areas limited to car parking.

Less Cars Means More Space For Public Transport And Safer Roads

With fewer cars on the road and cyclists in dedicated lanes, there’s more space for public transport and our city roads will also be safer as a result of fewer vehicle types (cars, buses, bikes and trams) converging and navigating roads simultaneously. That’s great for all of us.

Whether the requirements of your project involve bike lane infrastructure or other aspects of urban planning and development, Arnold Development Consultants can help. Contact your nearest ADC office to arrange a consultation with a member of our town planning team.