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Bike share improves city parking, study finds

Bike share programs may live up to their hype and improve parking crunches in cities, according to one study.

A working paper from academics at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University studying Shadyside and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods in Pittsburgh found bike share does, if not dramatically, positively impact parking. That’s good news for Baltimore.

Baltimore Bike Share will expand operations from 21 station and 185 bikes to 50 station and 456 bikes this spring. It’s hoped that the bike share program, which launched in October, will take cars off the street and improve parking in several neighborhoods.

Via CityLab:

Bike-share trips replaced at most about 69 car trips per day, out of 2,250 daily parking events in the neighborhood of Shadyside. This is a 2 percent decrease in parking demand (adjusted for the lost curb parking space for the installation of the bike docks) after the program’s launch in 2015.

Okay, so that’s not exactly a sea change in commuting patterns. But while those numbers are small, the benefits of that change could add up.

The average distance traveled towards the Shadyside stations was about .85 miles. Over the course of those nearly 69 trips, that’s about 58.6 fewer miles driven each day.

The researchers estimate that level of trip replacement over a month would produce approximately 1,346 fewer car trips, 82.5 fewer gas gallons, 76,470 calories burnt, and 0.73 fewer metric tons of CO2 emissions from trips to Shadyside.