Gender and cycling safety in New York City: The Facts

Safety Fact: Male or female, young or old, it’s never been safer to ride a bike in New York City. The risk of serious injury or a fatality to a regular cyclist is down three-quarters since 2000.

Ridership Fact: Bike ridership has tripled in the past decade as we make our streets safer for everyone who uses them.

Female Ridership Facts: The gap between the number of men and women riding bikes has narrowed since 2001, with a 19% gap reduction between 2001-2008 on Manhattan’s on-street bike lanes. While gender imbalance on two wheels is a national issue, Department of City Planning data show that the number of women riding bikes is increasing faster than male riders.

Data Fact: The U.S. Census misses 82% of bike trips in New York City. The data reflect only commuters who say biking is their primary transportation to work. New Yorkers who bike to school, or for recreation, fun, occasional commuting or for any other purposes are not counted, missing the growing number of female riders. The insufficiencies of Census data collection for biking have been known to transportation planners for some time.

DOT Data Collection Fact: DOT documentation of bicycle usage is among the most extensive in the United States. DOT collects 12-hour weekend and weekday bicycle data on a monthly basis and 18-hour counts, 3 times per year. That helps us paint a better picture of biking trends in New York City.

Street Safety Facts: DOT’s landmark Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan found that streets with bike lanes are 40% less deadly for pedestrians and streets with protected bike paths see injury rates drop by up to 50% for everyone who uses the street. The growing bike network and protected paths make everyone safer. New York currently has the safest streets in city history.