In a hurry? Hit the bike lane, new data shows

From blue to red, the amount of time it takes to bike from Cleveland Circle to various points in the city. For many destinations, it’s quicker to bike than take the T, according to Google Maps analysis.
From blue to red, the amount of time it takes to bike from Cleveland Circle to various points in the city. For many destinations, it’s quicker to bike than take the T, according to Google Maps analysis.
Jonathan Lansey

The Globe’s editorial policy, as a whole, is not (yet) entirely enlightened to the upside of biking, but new analysis offers another upside that might change that: It’s often quicker than taking the MBTA.

Jonathan Lansey, a founder of bike horn maker Loud Bicyle and a research engineer, has plotted the time it takes to ride the MBTA versus biking from Cleveland Circle to a variety of points around the city. Pedal power is surprisingly effective.

“The fastest places to go by T are not surprisingly along spindly corridors defined by rail tracks and bus routes. The flashing colors reflect the rhythm of bus and trolley schedules,” Lansey notes. “In contrast, the time to bike is solid and steady. There is no arbitrary network of paths defining where you can go quickly—and no pressing constraints on when you must leave.”

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Lansey put together a video showing just how big that difference can be, particularly during peak and off hours:

My favorite part is when it hits 1:30 a.m. and T riders are hit with a blanket of blood-red waiting time, while noble bikers can still pedal bravely on into that good night.

The map was created using a clever mashup of Google Maps’ API, Stamen Design’s map tiles, and a few other open tools, which are detailed on Lansey’s blog.

If you liked this, check out some other biking visualizations we’ve run across.