DePaul graduate students Jenna Caldwell, Riley O’Neil and Dana Yanocha are co-authors of the study, which calls for Chicago to lower fines and offer diversion programs to cyclists.
“While Chicago has made tremendous strides in building bike infrastructure to accommodate the ever-growing cycling population, policymakers should continue to improve upon and implement policies that keep riders safe,” said Caldwell.
Researchers conducted field observations of 875 cyclists in Chicago and found:
• At traffic signals when there was no cross traffic, 65 percent of riders made an Idaho stop — stopping then proceeding through the intersection, even on a red light.
• When cross traffic was present, 66 percent of riders made Idaho stops at stop signs, and at traffic signals 78 percent followed the law.
In separate observations, researchers concurrently set out on routes through the city via bicycle, Uber and CTA buses and trains to see which was fastest. Researchers found:
• Biking proved faster than public transit on 33 of 45 trips. It was especially faster in travel between neighborhoods, as opposed to trips in and out of downtown.
• Biking also offered greater predictability – bicyclists can generally predict travel times within 5 minutes, while those using the CTA and UberPool tended to experience much more travel time uncertainty.
Chicagoist article on the same topic, "Riding Your Bike In Chicago Is Officially Faster Than Taking The CTA"
Considering the city is in the midst of a Hoth-like deep freeze, you might not have cycling on the brain at this very moment—unless it relates to food delivery. But if speed of movement is your motivating impulse, you may want to hop back on the bike. A study released this week by local researchers confirmed what cyclists have long suspected: on average, travel time is faster on bike than on CTA.
The study, which was conducted by DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, examined three distinct types of travel: downtown to neighborhood, outer downtown to neighborhood and neighborhood to neighborhood. According to the study, biking was faster than the CTA, on average, in each situation except one: downtown to neighborhood. But the edge in that case was narrow, with bikes clocking at 50:52 and the CTA at 49:15. The favorable gap for bicycles in the other circumstances were even more pronounced: bikes times on average 43:38 compared to 52:58 in trips from outer downtown to neighborhoods; and it was no contest in terms of neighborhood to neighborhood, where bike travel clocked in at 28:11 compared to the CTA’s whopping 52:05.
If you’re curious about the methodology, all the biking trips were made between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., most of which incorporated bike infrastructure and dedicated lanes. And cyclists in the study “maintained a moderate pace throughout the entire ride” which means their speeds registered “slower than the experienced cyclist.” So if you’re a skilled vet, you’ll probably fare even better.
The study also compared bike travel to Uber Pool. The rideshare service was faster than bicycling in each trip type other than inter-neighborhood travel, according to the study. Bikes win on cost, though; despite maintenance totals, as bike trips will remain free until Trump privatizes all roads.
Overall, cycling fared very well: “Considering all three modes—public transit, UberPool, and bike_biking proved faster than public transit on 33 of the 45 trips and faster than UberPool on 21 trips,” according to findings.