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Protected bike lanes in downtown Ann Arbor paying off as ridership increases

A two-way protected bike lane in downtown Ann Arbor
Josh Hakala
89.1 WEMU
A two-way protected bike lane in downtown Ann Arbor

Bike ridership in downtown Ann Arbor has been on the rise. According to city officials, it has a lot to do with the installation of the bike lanes and increased safety measures.

The increase in safety efforts like adding more “no turn on red” signs and creating two-way protected bike lanes, has helped create an increase in bike ridership. The goal is to create more protected bike lanes to allow riders to get around the entire downtown and beyond.

Fourth Ward city council member Dharma Akmon says, compared to a pre-pandemic study from 2017, the Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, shows bike ridership is outpacing motor vehicles. She says when you build a safe, comfortable infrastructure, people will use it.

“What we’ve found is bike ridership … is the only mode that’s grown significantly. People walking has stayed about the same where they measured it, driving has actually gone down.”

The DDA has been conducting its own monitoring of downtown bike traffic, but there are plans to expand the analysis. That is intended to get a better sense of just how many people are using bikes in Ann Arbor.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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