Biking Surges in US Cities During COVID-19

Can This Trend Be Maintained Safely?

+ Eric Goldwyn, Elif Ensari


Research Scholars Eric Goldwyn and Elif Ensari have written, “Biking Surges in US Cities During COVID-19: Can This Trend Be Maintained Safely?” in Medium’s The Startup. They write:

Replica’s Trends mobility data estimates cycling trip origins by census tract and neighborhood tabulation area, enabling year-over-year comparisons between 2019 and 2020. By combining Replica’s Trends travel data with crash data and data on existing bicycle networks, we can show where cycling is growing and where it still remains relatively dangerous, helping government make informed decisions about where to site new infrastructure, and support safer biking.

Starting in 2021, New York City’s Department of Transportation will begin installing 250-miles of protected bicycle lanes over the next five years. This makes New York an ideal test case for using Replica’s Trends mobility data to identify which streets should receive protected bicycle lanes. This debate has become more urgent over the last year as the competition for scarce road space has yielded another gruesome year for cycling deaths. The City of New York can reverse these troubling trends with smart, targeted interventions.

Goldwyn and Ensari recommend four specific interventions for the boroughs of New York City and suggest that similar analyses could be done for other cities like Dallas, Birmingham, and Kansas City.

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