If you build it, they will come.
It is a standard trope where I live in Toronto that nobody uses the bike lanes in winter and it is a waste of space that could be used for storing or moving cars; the city is still in the thrall of the late Rob Ford.
Now, Tamara Nahal and Raktim Mitra of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University have completed a study, Factors Contributing to Winter Cycling: Case Study of a Downtown University in Toronto, Canada, which looks at the issue and finds that bike lanes are used all year and they make a big difference. From the abstract:
Cycling rates in many North American cities decline significantly in winter months, which is a major challenge for practitioners and advocates in advancing active transportation-related policy, planning, and programs. Research on winter cycling in North America is sparse; even more so in Canada. Beyond weather and climate, a cyclist’s socio-demographic characteristics, travel preferences, residential location and access to cycling facilities may influence whether they continue to cycle in the winter months. This study statistically examines the above-mentioned factors in relation to all-season cycling among staff and students of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada
Click here to read the full article: https://www.treehugger.com/bikes/new-study-shows-good-bike-infrastructure-encourages-winter-cycling.html