Bicycling is UP again in the Big Apple!
On the heels of 2008's unprecedented growth of 35% in commuter cycling, this year the New York City Department of Transportation measured an additional gain of 26%, putting the total 2007 to 2009 increase at a whopping 66%!
Of course much of that can be attributed to NYC installing 200 miles of bike routes in the past three years, including innovative amenities such as the 8th and 9th Avenue cycletracks that separate car traffic from bikers. Safer streets encourage more people to ride, more riders encourage more people to ride, more riders on the road means cyclists are more visible. It's a cycling mathematical equation that I'm sure "Cycling Al" Einstein would have approved of.
In fact, the numbers of cyclists on the roads have tripled since the year 2000. So we thought it would be good to get a reality check from riders as to how it is going out there. Overwhelmingly, folks we interviewed said it is getting quite crowded out there on our streets and bridges and in most ways that's a good thing!
Dani Simons: [0:33] DOT is proud to announce the results of its latest bicycle counts, which show that commuter cycling is up another 26 percent this year over last year. In the last seven years, commuter cycling has more than doubled in New York City. [music]
Caroline Samponaro: [0:57] 2009 was the best year ever for New York City cycling! There are more people riding their bike than ever.
Man 1: [1:03] It increases as the years go by, which makes it easier to ride because, when there's more bikes, the cars are more aware of the bikes. This street is a good example.
Woman 3: [1:13] I think it's great that people are cycling. It's good for the environment, and it's good for your body.
Man 2: [1:17] It's just a wonderful thing to see a lot of people out here riding, giving up their cars. That's a good thing. I at least ride three days a week, three or four days a week, weather permitting.
Man 3: [1:26] Do you like it better than the subway?
Man 2: [1:27] Heck yeah!
Woman 4: [1:28] Love all the bike lanes. I love the separated bike lanes. If there can't be bollards, at least the striping. And I've found that, actually, as there's more bikers, the cars are becoming much better. They're much more observant.
Caroline Samponaro: [1:41] There are two reasons why there are more people riding than ever before. One, there are so many new bike lanes: 200 new miles in two years. Second thing, more people riding. More people riding means more people are going to get out and ride. It's like a cycle: more lanes, more people, more lanes, more people. We're making it happen.
Man 4: [2:00] Love the new cyclists' wobble that you see every so often. Look at this. [laughs]
Man 5: [2:07] I live in the neighborhood. Sometimes you see like 10, 20 bikes coming at one time. They'll be zooming down a block on a nice day. You'll see a whole stack of bikes coming through here.
Man 6: [2:15] It's nice to have company. And generally, people do have a tendency to look out for each other. You get a flat, somebody will stop, see if you need air or do things like that.
Woman 5: [2:23] There's definitely a community of cyclists. It doesn't matter what kind of bike you ride or how much you ride. People are always like, "Oh yeah, you ride your bike, too."
Man 7: [2:33] I sometimes chat with people going over and back on the bridge. I like seeing a lot of bicyclists. A lot of young people now on their bikes.
Woman 6: [2:40] On an August afternoon, walking from the 79th Street Boat Basin to 103rd Street, and I counted 280 cyclists in my walk.
Man 8: [2:50] It's beautiful, man. Everybody get out here and ride. [music]