Actually, We Do Need More Bike Lanes: Two-Wheeled Commuters Doubled Since 2007

meter racks Actually, We Do Need More Bike Lanes: Two Wheeled Commuters Doubled Since 2007

From parking meters to bike parking. (NYC DOT)

Just yesterday, The Observer was thinking what the city really needed was wider sidewalks, not more bike lanes. Turns out we need both, as pedestrians have risen 13 percent in the past four years, but that is nothing compared to the 102 percent jump in bicycle commuters over the same period.

The Department of Transportation just announced the increase, which is up an even more staggering 289 percent since 2001. There were 18,846 cyclists measured on the city’s streets per day this year, compared to 17,491 last year, a gain of 7.7 percent. A new report from the DOT also finds that streets with bike lanes on them are 40 percent safer than those without.

But where to park all those bikes? The department has announced that it is replacing some 6,000 parking meters with new bike racks, now that the city has done away with the old coin-operated meters. The department has already installed 175 such parking poles. “Our infrastructure needs to keep pace with new demands on city streets,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “By transforming obsolete parking meters into off-the-rack bike parking, we are recycling old facilities to meet this growing need.”

Maybe they could recycle the BQE while they’re at it.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    The count is not a total number of cyclists but merely a snapshot of cyclists passing a handful of designated spots such as East River crossing, west side bike path at 60th street. etc. It is not a total number (which would be impossible to count) but allows for year-to-year comparisons.

  2. BkBiker says:

    Remember, bike lanes are there to keep cars out, not to keep bikes in.  So in areas where there is no great need for bike lanes – most east-west streets, Wall Street area, the Village, bike riders and car drivers should be peaceably sharing the road.

  3. ddartley says:

    You will see–as more people bike (especially as bike share arrives), you will see pedestrian injuries go down and down.  Because bike volume helps tame the real killer–fast cars.  Anyone who says that’s a bad thing should not be taken seriously.

  4. Paul says:

    So the DOT’s method of determining whether or not a biker is going to work is just by counting every bike rider at a location and making the assumption they are going to work? Sounds like more falsified data to justify outrageous spending on bike lanes for above the law, unlicensed and uninsured bicylists.Alert a moderator 0

    1. tl says:

      Yes, i see how you bitching about this will actually make a difference, as opposed to trying to evolve it and create a system that works for both cyclists and motorists…  Good job.

      BTW, I’m both insured, and licensed.  Thanks.

    2. Socrates says:

      The dutch would say, ‘get with the program already’