FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER SADIK-KHAN ANNOUNCE 14 PERCENT GROWTH IN COMMUTER BIKE RIDING COMPARED TO LAST SPRING
Commuter Cycling Up 62 Percent Compared to Spring 2008; Up 262 Percent Overall Since 2000
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced a 14 percent increase in commuter bike riders compared to last spring, continuing the trend of significant growth in the number of New Yorkers choosing to commute via bicycle. Commuter cycling has increased by 62 percent when compared to spring of 2008 and by 262 percent overall since 2000. The data is collected by counts of actual cyclists at major commuter locations. The consistent increase in the number of cyclists coincides with record lows in traffic fatalities recorded over the past four years and the continued expansion of the City’s bicycle route network, which has increased road safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The City has installed more than 390 lane-miles of bicycle routes since 2002. From 2000 to 2010, the average risk of a serious injury to bike riders declined by 72 percent.
“More and more New Yorkers are choosing to get around town by bicycle, and by creating more bike lanes, we’re giving New Yorkers the option to safely chose to bike,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It’s the City’s responsibility to adjust to trends in commuting and ensure our streets are safe for everyone on the road, and by improving our street network and strengthening enforcement of traffic laws, we’ve made our streets safer than ever – for everyone.”
“In a city with more commuting choices than anywhere in the country, biking is booming as a safe, reliable and healthy transportation option for New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “More New Yorkers than ever are using the expanding bike route network, and still more are seeing the benefit it brings for everybody who uses the streets.”
The Department of Transportation recorded a record-high count of 18,809 cyclists per day this spring, up from 16,463 in spring 2010 and from 11,595 in spring 2008, while the number of cyclist fatalities declined from 25 in 2008 to 19 in 2010. The City began counting cyclists in 1985, when 3,440 cyclists per day were recorded. The six commuter locations where counts are taken are on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge; at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal and on the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street.
Cyclist safety can be accurately measured by the Department of Transportation’s Cycling Safety Indicator, which weighs bicyclist fatalities and severe injuries against the number of cyclists on the road. Last year’s index of 113 represents a 72 percent decrease in the average risk of a serious injury to commuter bike riders in the last ten years. The Department of Transportation has continued to build the City’s bicycle route network to improve safety for all road users. The streets with bike lanes are 40 percent safer for pedestrians than other streets, and streets with parking-protected bike paths have seen reductions in injuries of up to 50 percent for all street users – motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
As commuter bike riding continues to increase in New York City, the City is taking steps to educate all street users on the importance of observing the rules of the road for everyone’s safety.
Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation launched the “Don’t Be a Jerk” campaign featuring celebrity cyclists in ads detailing some of the basic rules of the road cyclists need to follow. Last fall, the Department of Transportation and the NYPD announced a Federal grant to fund increased enforcement against motorists and cyclists who violate traffic laws.
The Department of Transportation asked cyclists to take the Bike Smart Pledge, a commitment to learning and observing basic rules for the safety of themselves and other street users, and Bike Smart Guides are regularly distributed by the Department and the NYPD.
Stu Loeser / Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
Seth Solomonow (Transportation) (212) 839-4850
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