- Bike lanes cause traffic calming, which is really just congestion
- Traffic calming causes higher emissions
- Congestion causes people to die because EMT's can't get to them in time, therefore any lives saved by safer roads will be offset by a larger number of people dying of heart attacks.
Now since CEI is funded by the oil companies, car companies and (of course) the Koch brothers, that they are anti-bike lane is not surprising. Nor am I surprised at how wrong they are.
What he got wrong
1. removing auto lanes or narrowing them to accommodate dedicated cycling infrastructure tends to have a traffic calming effect, which often significantly increases traffic congestion.
That is wrong. Traffic calming does not increase congestion. In fact, in both DC and NYC, traffic calming related to bike lanes is associated with no increase in congestion. It slows the top speed, but not the average speed. On PPW in NYC, speeding dropped by 75%, but the number of cars using the road and the time it took them to travel it were basically unchanged. As part of the Wilson Bridge project they used variable speeds, because slowing down top speed reduced congestion.
2. More congestion and slower average speeds will result in more emissions, not less.
First of all, he never proves that congestion will go up (because it doesn't) and second of all he misunderstands the study he cites. Yes, emissions are a function of speed. From the study:
The general shape of this relationship is well known: it is U-shaped. Emissions per km are high at very low speed, then they decrease, reaching a low plateau in the 40–80 km/h range, then increase significantly. The precise equation of this relationship is not well known.
40 km/h is about 25 mph. So unless traffic is being slowed below 25 mph, it's in the good zone. Traffic on the PPW averaged 27mph after the changes. Furthermore, traffic has been calmed. So the average speed is the same, but the top speed is lower, and as the study notes:
From an emissions viewpoint, it is the profile of the speed curve that counts, not its average.
The study (which I believe is unpublished and not peer-reviewed) doesn't go into the nature of the curve. But I think any cyclist knows that accelerating uses more energy than going at a steady pace. Here's a study that proves it:
the highest emissions rate was produced during acceleration
Furthermore, Scribner just mentioned that "drivers will forgo more auto trips due to “calmed” traffic, meaning their will be fewer cars on the street..." Won't that reduce emissions?
3. Reduced road capacity and slower traffic increases emergency vehicle response times.
Scribner cites as his source - wait for it - testimony given to the Colorado City Council in 1997 by someone named Bowman on the subject of speed bumps in neighborhoods. This report (I won't call it a study as it is surely not peer-reviewed or published) is based very strongly on Bowman's estimates and assumptions.
As a gross guess, I estimate that at least two additional non-CA deaths per year would result from a one minute degradation in response times, for a total of roughly 8.5 lives per year.
...the above comparisons are very rough due to the lack of precise data and the assumptions involved
Ah, that instills confidence.
A speed bump is very different from a bike lane. There is no reason why the addition of a bike lane should slow down an ambulance. And the number of traffic death on neighborhood streets are very low, so of course speed bumps don't save many lives. This "report" is completely inapplicable to the question at hand and based on some very shoddy science. But hey, when has that stopped Scribner?
If anything, this footage from a very anti-bike lane reporter, makes me think "Thank God there was a bike lane there so that the ambulance had somewhere to go."