Question of the Week: How Do I Convince My City to Remove a Car Lane for a Dedicated Bike Lane?


Every Friday, we answer a new question that a reader asks in the Strong Towns Knowledge Base: a new Strong Towns platform where you can get the answers you need to take action locally.

This week’s question: How do I convince my city to remove a car lane for a dedicated bike lane?


City officials are most likely to consider removing a car lane for a dedicated bike lane when there’s an existing infrastructure project planned for the proposed street. The project could be a road diet, where the number of car lanes are reduced; or it could a project to repave the street.

Because city officials already want to improve the street, they’ll be more receptive to your pitch—compared to a street for which officials have no plans.

However, that doesn’t mean they’ll comply. Commonly, city officials believe that removing a car lane will increase congestion. Although often incorrect, the idea is logical: cars must now travel with one less lane.

Studies, however, show that when cities remove car lanes, traffic often remains consistent and crashes decrease:

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Want the rest of this answer? Visit the question on the Strong Towns Knowledge Base to read the rest of our advice, and then—most important—add your own! Or ask your own question! The Knowledge Base is a crowd-sourced document, and its goal is to collect the combined wisdom of the many brilliant, knowledgeable members of the Strong Towns movement.

Top image via Wikimedia Commons