DOT: Bicycling is Up in NYC

by Julie Clark
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Bike Lane in New York City
Joe Shlabotnik, Flickr

A new DOT report provides insight into how New Yorkers get around.

According to the latest Sustainable Streets Index from the NYC Department of Transportation, commuter cycling in the city is up 262 percent and bus and subway ridership has increased by ten percent since 2000.

This is the third report of this kind and it looks at transit ridership, traffic levels and trends in bike riding. It also has a neighborhood-level section to better profile transportation patterns. Overall, the study found that about half a million New Yorkers bike several times a month.

The Director of Bike Advocacy for the group Transportation Alternatives, Caroline Samponaro, gives credit to bike lanes as a reason so many more people are biking and calls it a “virtuous cycle.” “There’s safety in numbers for bicyclists so as more people ride bikes on New York City streets, it becomes safer to ride a bike,” she said. Samponaro also alluded to the fact that May is Bike Month in New York City and that there are hundreds of opportunities for people to start biking and get comfortable in a group setting.

Furthermore, a public bike share system is being proposed for New York City in which people will be able to, for less than the cost of a monthly Metrocard, use bikes without needed to buy or store a bike. In terms of other transportation changes, the report found that there was a 2.4% decrease in city-wide traffic and also a 30% decrease in traffic fatalities.

According to Department of Transportation Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, “this report shows that New York is increasingly a walking and transit city, and it also supports the changes we’ve made as we build streets that work for everyone who uses them.”

When looking at the neighborhood-level data taken from diverse neighborhoods, the study showed most people walk, bike, or use public transportation to go shopping, go out to eat and run errands. The report also points to efforts in Park Slope, Brooklyn which increased meter prices, causing people to spend less time in the spots and allowing for more parking in that area.

 

 

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