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Data Cruncher Screws Up Analysis on Bike Lanes' Impact on Property Values

By Gwynne Hogan | July 14, 2017 3:18pm
 Andrew Lax planned to delete his analysis after it drew fire online.
Andrew Lax planned to delete his analysis after it drew fire online.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

BUSHWICK — An analysis that found property sales along bike lanes had surged by 16 percent was repudiated by its author after withering social media criticism prompted him to admit his study was flawed.

Independent real estate data analysis Andrew Lax reported that price per square foot along Bushwick's newest bike lanes jumped from $348 to $402 in a matter of months.

Online critics pointed out the small sample size and huge outliers in sale prices that made it impossible to draw solid conclusions from.

"I would expect the price effect — if there is one — to be neighborhood-wide not localized to the exact street that the bike lane is on" said Stephen Smith, a partner at Quantierra, a data-driven real estate brokerage firm. "You need a larger sample size to prove the effect given how widely prices can vary normally." 

Lax said he planned to delete the post from his website, though he still thought further study of property values near bike lanes with more rigorous use of data could prove fruitful.

"I still think it's an interesting analysis — sales along bike lanes relative to the neighborhood sales," he said. "There are insights to be had, but the data needs to be looked at in more depth."