Cycling Counts up 13%!
The 2010 cycling counts are in! For the fourth year in a row, New York has posted a double-digit percentage increase in commuter cycling, according to the Commuter Cycling Indicator. Commuter cycling more than doubled from 2006 to 2010. DOT's Screenline Count shows more than 45,000 bike trips into or out of Manhattan south of 50th Street each weekday. These increases are no coincidence; they track with the rapid expansion of the City's bike lane network in recent years. In particular, protected paths give people a greater sense of safety by separating them from vehicular traffic, and open up the streets to a whole new group of cyclist. For example, in 2008, the Screenline Count noted 738 cyclists crossing 50th Street on Broadway. Just two years later, that number has doubled to over 1,400 cyclists.
Riding on the Sidewalk: Is it ever OK?
In most parts of the city, biking on the sidewalk is illegal and just plain rude! The only time riding on the sidewalk is legal is if you're under 13, or if you see a bike stamp. Bike stamps are white bicycle and arrow markings that denote sidewalk bike routes. DOT has created these routes where there's no good on-street option. Bike Stamps guide the way eastbound through City Hall Park, through Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Stanton and Rivington, on the Brooklyn-side approach to the Williamsburg Bridge, northbound on Kent Avenue between the BQE and Clymer Street, and on the north sidewalk between South 3rd Street and Borinquen Place in Williamsburg.
When you're following the bike stamps, remember that you are a guest on the sidewalk, so share the space politely: ride at walking speed and yield to pedestrians.
The Lanes of 2010 – A look back
2010 is winding down but DOT is on track to install 50 lane miles of bicycle facilities this year, en route to completing the 1,800-mile NYC network by 2030. And this year a whooping 7.4 of these new lane miles are protected on-street facilities. Highlights include extensions of the successful Broadway and Eighth Avenue protected paths and the introduction of the protected paths and Select Bus Service lanes on First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, as well as a two-way parking-protected bicycle path on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. These paths have improved safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike, while encouraging more and more New Yorkers to take to two wheels on City streets.
To complement these new routes and new ridership, DOT began a series of safety education outreach events in fall 2010 to further encourage respectful and lawful cycling and educate pedestrians and motorists on new street configurations.
Protected Path on Prospect Park West Spurs Surge in Ridership
When is a bike path more than a bike path? In the case of the new parking protected bike path along Prospect Park West, a bike path can also help calm speeding traffic. DOT's analysis of before and after conditions on Prospect Park West shows the project is working to curtail illegal speeding.
Illegal speeding has dropped from three out of every four vehicles before the project to just one out of every six after, while Prospect Park West cycling rates have skyrocketed on both the weekend (doubled) and weekday (tripled). Vehicle travel times and volumes have remained consistent.