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This Bike Lane Can Save Your Life

If a city makes riding safe and convenient, a magical thing happens.
Bicyclists ride in New York.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Adding bike lanes makes a city healthier—even for people who never climb on a bicycle.

Bicycle lanes have been a contentious issue in many U.S. cities, pitting motorists who say there’s no room for more bikes against two-wheel enthusiasts preaching the health benefits of leaving the car at home. But if you lay down enough bike lanes, something magical begins to happen: Non-riders begin to benefit from cleaner air when the network of bike lanes gets complete enough that people start riding bikes to work instead of driving.