In highway engineering, capacity refers to the ability of a road or street to carry motor vehicles (or, more importantly, people). Flow capacity is the number of vehicles (or people) passing a given hypothetical perpedicular line across a road, street, or lane.

A 3.5m motor traffic lane can carry around 2,000 people per hour, assuming typical urban car occupancy rates. That same 3.5m, allocated to cycling, can carry at least four times as many people per hour, perhaps even seven times as many - 14,000 people per hour.

Flow capacity for modes of transport


In other words, cycling infrastructure is a much more efficient way of moving people around than space allocated to motor traffic.