The Younger You Are, the More Likely You Are to Like Protected Lanes

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Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets.

Before we totally wrap up our coverage of last week’s big new study of protected bike lanes, we couldn’t resist sharing one last detail that might be of interest to American politicians on the lookout for emerging majorities.

Source: 2,068 surveys of people living near protected bike lanes. National Institute for Transportation and Communities, June 2014.


  • Justin

    I so mostly agree with this

  • fewd

    Wonder how many in the older groups oppose bike lanes because they have their nutty VC friend tell them what a waste they are.

    A few people enjoy the stressed out rush of racing with traffic and they get cycling less than a 1% mode share. Most of the rest end up driving. Guess we’ll have to wait for them to die off to make some progress and build walkable, liveable streets.

  • Pete

    No surprise there. Older people usually have jobs to get to, and don’t have all day free to ride around on their bikes.

  • gregm123456

    The other day I saw somebody driving a car to the gym, and somebody else riding a bike to work. Who do these people think they are? Cars are only for work and bikes are only for play.

  • murphstahoe

    65+ ?

  • Wanderer

    Were any follow up questions asked with this? It would be really interesting to know why opposition rises as people get older. Older people are more fearful of getting hit by a bike? Older people have a greater interest in space for their car? Both?

  • Gezellig

    As a fulltime job-haver I definitely don’t have all day to ride around free on my bike, but it does get me to and from work just fine. :p

    However, the older people in my life, my grandparents, DO have all day free to ride around on their bikes. And they do. Go figure.

  • Gezellig

    Well, maybe Pete means this? 😉

    Actually, my eightysomething grandparents do both bike daily. But only on the narrow very-low-speed streets of their senior community. There are major shopping centers only a half mile away and a bike lane leading to them but like most of postwar suburban America it looks like this the attached image:

    Even the youngs don’t dare ride that route. And the crazy thing is there’s totally the right of way for a protected cycletrack with none of the parking/car-lane-removal wars. It’s simply just bad design.

  • R.A. Stewart

    Or older people have spent nearly all their lives in a culture that assumes cars are the only way to get anyplace and that has no use for bikes for anyone over 12.

    It will be interesting to see if younger people’s attitudes about this change as they get older. I’m guessing not.

    And by the way, I’m in that 55-64 group. And I note that even in the two oldest groups, way over twice as many respondents agreed as disagreed with the statement supporting protected bike lanes.

  • R.A. Stewart

    VC? I’m old enough that when I read that, I picture one of my contemporaries somehow having a nutty Viet Cong friend. 🙂

    Again, as I noted above, look at those two oldest age groups. Fewer than 30% disagreement, more than 60% agreement with “I would support building more protected bike lanes.” You’ve got plenty of adversaries in the way of progress, young whippersnapper, don’t waste your energy whacking us oldsters.

  • qtc

    They support building them in other locations. In theory. Where they don’t have to see the blight, or be inconvenienced in any way whatsoever. Ask about building bike lanes on their street and support can dry up some, and the opponents make themselves heard.

  • R.A. Stewart

    That point did occur to me. I note that the caption specifies “surveys of people living near protected bike lanes”; though I haven’t had time to read through the whole study to see if it says exactly how near.

  • Alicia

    Where is this world you live in where people don’t ride bikes to work?

  • Because they don’t want their tax dollars spent on something they believe is a waste to build.


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