Data Shows – Bike Boulevards Dramatically Increase Walking and Bicycling
February 8, 2012 2 Comments
The City of Long Beach completed an annual bicycle and pedestrian counts this past fall. It found a 100% increase of kids getting to school on foot or by bike along the new Vista Street Bike boulevard. Increased active transportation were the results of planning for active transportation and safety and Safe Routes to School curriculum and programs. Long Beach’s goal to double the children safely walking and bicycling to school were fully realized…and more!
This data shows that conscious and deliberate planning for bicycles and pedestrians will change the behaviors of surrounding neighborhoods. Community advocates and city planners listened to parents concern about walking and bicycling to school and discovered the intersection of Park and Vista was a major impediment. The intersection was the site of the most accidents in the area. In addition to the new bike boulevard, the City of Long Beach installed a roundabout to calm traffic and provide a safe crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists. For example, as a result of the changes, the intersection speeds dropped from 35 mph to 25 mph. Graphs from the count comparing walking and pedestrian activity before and after the boulevard construction are included below:
In the near future the city will be developing plans for at least three more bike boulevards, each intended to provide safer primary routes for children going to and from school. The same data will be collected to build a data base and document the impact of these safety related infrastructure projects.