The New York City Department of Transportation released news yesterday that they’ve recorded an 8 percent increase in people biking into Manhattan this year, that makes today’s number double the number of bikers in 2007. In part due to the bicycle equality commitments of New York City DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, bike lanes around the city have proliferated since the first installation of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue in 2007. In the face of harsh opposition — like that of the coalition that wants the Prospect Park West bike lane removed — Sadik-Khan has stood for the idea that we should all share the road whether we are using two legs, two wheels, or an engine.
The 8 percent increase comes from a head count of riders coming into the city on four crossings — the East River bridges, the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street, and riding the Staten Island Ferry. In addition to the doubling of cyclists commuting in New York in the last four years, the DOT’s numbers show that New York City bike commuting rates have quadrupled in the last decade. When the DOT first started taking a head count in 1980 they found an average of 6,600 bikers commuting over a 12 hour period in a day. Today, that number has jumped to 34,600.
With increased traffic numbers, the city will be hopefully sticking to its guns when it comes to increasing safety and ease in bike commuting in the Big Apple. With the upcoming introduction of a bike share to New York City it is likely that our bike commuting head counts will continue to shoot towards the sky.