UK study says bike lanes not as great as they seem

Bicycle lanes are everywhere these days. They're usually at the rightmost lane of every major city thoroughfare. Besides promoting a “greener” alternative to mobility, the recent boom in riding bicycles was also born out of necessity since mass transport is still operationally-limited due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

These new bicycle lanes also hope to encourage their use and reduce the number of vehicles plying the roads, getting people to switch to pedals instead of the gas pedal.

However, a recent UK study suggests that bicycle lanes are actually doing more harm than good, and may even cause more pollution than before.

The study, according to an article in the The Telegraph, observed the morning and evening rush hours of streets with bicycle lanes in the borough of Harrow in the UK. With these bicycle lanes occupying a lane, out of the four-lane road, there was less space for cars. Hence, cars spent more time in traffic which then resulted in more pollution.

The survey also counted more than 34,000 vehicles, on eight routes that had been adapted to accommodate bicycles in this manner. Of all the vehicles encountered, only 608 bicycles were counted.

Sadly, the study revealed, for every £6,153 (almost PhP400K) spent on the cycle-lane scheme, just one extra bicycle rider would have been attracted to commuting on two-wheels. If this scheme continues until 2030, it will cost UK taxpayers roughly £400m a year.

Do you think that this problem is similar in the Philippines?