IYBI – Bike Lane Edition

In prior posts, we have cited the Field-of-Dreams law of planning: if you build it, they will come (“IYBI”), documenting research that points to mixed-use downtowns generating pedestrians, and parking spaces generating more cars.

The journal Transportation has now offered up an IYBI bicycle corollary in its March edition: build bicycle lanes, you’ll get more bicyclists.  Or, to put it in a way that responds to some of the skepticism around the proposal for bike lanes in Norwalk: of course we don’t have a lot of bicyclists yet; we don’t have any bike lanes!

The study, cited in GOOD magazine, looks at the factors driving bicycle ridership in 90 out of the country’s 100 largest cities, and determines that, of all the factors affecting ridership (sprawl, climate, demographics, cost of gas, etc.), the simple presence of a bike path is the most determinative.

A frequent protestation of skeptical Norwalkers when bike paths are proposed is: where are you seeing this huge demand for bike paths?  No body bikes in Norwalk!

If you didn’t have roads, no one would drive either.