Bikeshare is to bike lanes, as Peyton is to the Colts

In isolation, neither is too shabby (pending Mr. Manning’s ability to cut that meat in tonight’s Broncos v Steelers matchup). But together, a well-oiled bikeride/touchdown-producing machine.

The chart below shows a simple scatterplot of total bike lane volume within half a mile of DC Capital Bikeshare stations, and the average daily ridership at those stations. The line shows the predicted positive relationship between bike lanes and bikeshare ridership.

It is my favorite chart from this paper. Why? Well, if you have ever written an exploratory research paper, looking to test a hypothesis that really could go either way, coming up with that first shred of evidence that you might be onto something leads to considerable unclenching.

Anyway, natural skeptics will note that this simple bivariate regression is hardly conclusive, and I would heartily encourage them to have a look at the full paper, and read about other variables that were tested, issues of covariance, etc. The bottom line is that even after controlling for a variety of stuff, bike lane volume still emerges as a significant predictor of bikeshare ridership. Have a read, I’ll wait….

[Checking twitter, humming "Share it Maybe"]

It is through this lens that I tend to squint skeptically when I hear bikeshare/bike lanes chicken/egg debates. And when something like this bikeshare feasibility survey being run by a Dayton, Ohio bike advocacy org comes into my field of vision, I immediately fire up the Googlemap:

Those trails look very useful, and there is a north/south pair of bikelanes obscured by the “A.” Perhaps there are plans on the books to carpet the city in cycletracks, or Google is out of date. And there are certainly other variables that have significant impacts on bikeshare ridership.

But, given that Capital Bikeshare’s benchmark membership numbers have resulted in only evolutionary changes in overall modeshare, I cannot help but wonder if the substantial investment needed for bikeshare might have more effective ridership returns if used on some more basic bike infrastructure for Dayton.

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One Response to Bikeshare is to bike lanes, as Peyton is to the Colts

  1. Pingback: Bikeshare Equity Framework | bikepedantic

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