New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg was joined today by Editor Bill Strickland and Publisher Zachary Grice of Bicycling magazine, which this week named New York City the top U.S. city for cycling, highlighting the sustained and continuing efforts by the agency to engineer safer streets for bicyclists and investments in infrastructure. New York City moved to first from seventh place in just two years since the publication last ranked U.S. cities nationwide with populations of 100,000 or more in 2012, reflecting the transformation on New York City’s streets to a place where cycling is safe, convenient, fun, and increasingly the transportation mode of choice of New Yorkers on the go. Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives and Ken Podziba, President/CEO of Bike New York also joined DOT and the publication’s leadership along the newly completed protected bike path on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan.
“As Bicycling Magazine notes, New York has—against all odds—embraced and has been transformed by a mode of transportation which is inexpensive, burns no fuel, emits no carbon, helps tackle obesity, connects people to their communities and let’s face it, brings joy.” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “New Yorkers love to cycle and they bring an energy and passion that only this city can produce. I want to thank the past leadership at DOT and our current bike lane innovators who helped make New York the best biking city in the U.S.”
“Since Bicycling’s 2012 ranking, the cycling landscape in New York City has undergone a radical transformation. More than 96,000 annual members subscribe to the nation’s largest bike share, Citi Bike and over 350 miles of new bike lanes have finished installation under former Mayor Bloomberg,” said Bicycling Editor-in-Chief, Bill Strickland. “Newly elected mayor, Bill de Blasio, has publicly vowed that by 2020 bicycling trips will double citywide. The dedication by advocates, cyclists, and the DOT to making NYC streets safe for riding has landed NYC deservedly at the top of our list.”
“With greenways, bike paths and mountain bike trails throughout NYC Parks, the cyclist in New York City has a wide array of choices, throughout all five boroughs, to enjoy bicycling in a safe and beautiful environment. These picturesque routes are a key part of New York’s standing as the best biking city in the United States,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.
"New York’s growing number of bike lanes, greenways and bike share stations all demonstrate that the city has undergone a rapid makeover,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White. “Even faster than the transformation of our physical infrastructure, however, is the transformation we’ve seen in our political infrastructure. From local businesses to community boards to the new city council, New York City’s body politic is now demanding the next generation of arterial expansions to our bike network. This bodes well for the mayor’s goal of a significant increase in bicycling over the next 6 years."
“As the City works to make New York City better for cyclists, we’re working hard to make cyclists better for New York City. Through our free education programs, we’ve taught bike skills to tens of thousands of kids and adults through the five boroughs, from East New York to Harlem, from the Bronx to Roosevelt Island,” said Bike New York President/CEO Ken Podziba. “Ian Dille said in his Bicycling article that while riding a bike through the City, he felt that he owned New York. But it isn’t just a feeling; it’s a fact. The City is yours. Get on a bike and go discover it.”
Protected bike paths like the one on Lafayette Street have led to safer streets for all, a new report released today by DOT confirms. The report contains an analysis three full years of before/after crash data of over 7 miles of protected bike paths. The study, the most comprehensive of its kind in the US, shows that on streets with protected bicycle paths, injuries to all street users declined by 20 percent. These results confirm the safety benefits of protected bicycle paths and DOT has committed to add five miles of protected paths each year, the equivalent of 100 city blocks. In 2014, the DOT has already installed over two miles of protected paths in neighborhoods as wide ranging as Manhattan’s West Village and Canarsie in Brooklyn.
New York City now has over 900 miles of bike lanes across the five boroughs, with more than 600 of those on city streets. New York City DOT’s innovative protected bike path design has been emulated by cities and states around the country – from Chicago to Washington DC to Austin, Texas. Since 2002, cycling ridership has quadrupled in New York City. This year DOT is on pace to add over 58 bike lane miles to the network, one of the largest single year expansions in history. The expansion reflects a partnership with local communities, particularly in Brownsville/East New York in Brooklyn, Long Island City and Ridgewood in Queens, and Washington Heights in upper Manhattan, where DOT and community stakeholders have worked closely for months to identify over 25 miles of new bike infrastructure for these neighborhoods.
DOT has also made significant progress on increasing bike parking as the bike network continues to grow, with 21,300 bike racks currently installed, and over 1,000 installed this year alone. Currently, close to 1,000 single space parking meters have been converted to bike parking. There are 40 locations for bike corrals, with an additional 24 planned in this year.
With the launch of Citi Bike in May 2013, New York City became the largest U.S. city in America with a bikeshare program. Last week, New Yorkers surpassed 12 million trips on Citi Bike since its launch, demonstrating its integral role as part of the city’s transportation system. In its 15 months on city streets there have been no fatalities or serious injuries on Citi Bikes. Overall, New York City streets are getting safer to ride two wheels on and DOT continues to make street safety improvements as part of citywide initiative Vision Zero.
Every day in New York City 342,000 trips are made by bike and 54,000 of those trips are to and from work. Within the bike share service area alone, 113,000 bike trips are made daily, 80,000 on private bikes and 33,000 on bike share. The DOT’s In-Season Cycling Indicator tracks cycling ridership over time and shows a steady increase since the beginning of the last decade. There was a 9 percent increase in cycling in one year alone from 2012 to 2013 (the most recent year for which data are available), 31 percent since 2009 and three-fold growth since 2003. With the dramatic increase of riders, risk of serious injury has dropped by 74 percent from 2001 to 2013 as cycling becomes an integrated and safe part of the City’s transportation system.
DOT remains committed to building more cycling infrastructure to expand and connect the bike network and making cycling transportation safer.
To learn more about the DOT’s cycling infrastructure, please visit www.nyc.gov/bikes.