The connected, protected bikeway network demonstration report includes evaluation findings, survey results, and recommendations for moving New Orleans forward!
Detailed data analysis and survey results show that a connected, protected bikeway network improved safety, increased bicycle ridership, and was supported by the community. Connect The Crescent, a 3-month demonstration, was intended to create community dialogue around how to make New Orleans streets safe and equitable for all people regardless of how they choose to travel, while also providing opportunity for real-time studies of innovative traffic safety and mobility improvement options. Organizers have deemed the effort a success.
“The lessons we and the community have learned from Connect The Crescent will be invaluable as the city moves forward with plans to make our streets safer for everyone on the roadway, and that begins with networks of connected and protected bikeways,” said Robert Henig Bell, Bike Easy Campaign Manager and the project’s lead organizer, “But my favorite part of this experience has been hearing from all the people who travel these streets every day and feel the big difference some simple, small changes can make.”
Quinton Hakeem, a 29-year old visual and musical artist who lives in Central City shared his story when he saw new, protected bike lanes go up on Simon Bolivar Avenue: “We want to ride bikes together as a family, but last year my 4-year-old son and wife were nearly run over, so we stopped even thinking about riding in the neighborhood. These protected lanes are needed for us to feel safe biking next to traffic.” Perspectives like Quinton’s were collected before, during, and after the demonstration as part of an extensive, volunteer-led community outreach effort.
Results detailed in the extensive final report on the demonstration, compiled with support from the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute and the City of New Orleans, show a decrease in crashes involving all modes of transportation, reductions in dangerous and illegal speeding, increases in bicycle ridership, and widespread community support.
Of the 876 people who completed online and in-person surveys, 87% supported testing and renovating New Orleans streets with protected bikeways, including 76% of people who drive every day. 57% of businesses surveyed were neutral about the installations, and of those who indicated an opinion, 73% were positive.
Strong community support made Connect the Crescent possible. More than 200 volunteers gave over 1,100 hours of their time. Thank you!!
Connect The Crescent was entirely funded by grants, sponsorships and donations.
“Improving equity is a priority our organization shares with the Cantrell administration. Connect The Crescent has shown how people in the neighborhoods that need it most can safely and affordably connect to opportunity,” said Dan Favre, Executive Director of Bike Easy. “Moreover, great bike infrastructure benefits everyone on the roadway, even if they never bike, by making the space clearer and more predictable, improving safety for all, and reducing traffic congestion by providing transportation options,” he added.
Connect the Crescent was organized by a steering committee of 16 partners, led by Bike Easy and supported by the City of New Orleans.
Further details, including the entire final report, can be found at http://www.connectthecrescent.com.