The DOT has released its report on cycling in NYC and determined that the number of people who commute by bicycle has increased 8% over last year. (Read it below) Overall, bike riding has increased 102% compared to 2007 and by 289% compared to 2001, says the DOT, which measures commuter cyclists by counting them at the four East River bridges, the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street, and the Whitehall ferry terminal. An average of 18,846 cyclists per day was recorded this year, up from 17,491 in 2010. The DOT attributes the increase in large part to
Steve Cuozzo the DOT:
The growth in commuter bike riding and increase in safety come as DOT has brought an unprecedented campaign to engineer safer streets citywide. In the last four years, the agency has added some 260 miles of bicycle lanes to streets in all five boroughs to enhance safety for all users, especially pedestrians. In its landmark Pedestrian Safety Report and Action Plan, DOT found that streets with bike lanes are 40% less deadly for pedestrians.
This year’s increase is less than the double-digit increases of recent years, and Streetsblog speculates that cycling growth may have been "hampered by construction work on the Manhattan Bridge, which has forced cyclists to detour onto the Bowery, with all its barreling truck traffic, on inbound trips. The city released a preliminary bike count in the spring that found a bigger increase — 14 percent — before the construction detour took effect." Whatever the reason, the DOT is still on track to double cycling levels by 2012 (unless the Department of Homeland Security steps in to crush this terrorist threat).
To be sure, there's been considerable debate on the different reports on cyclists. For one thing, the most recent Census found that cycling was actually decreasing in NYC. (Streetsblog had something to say about that, of course.) On the other hand, Transportation Alternatives did a study and found an "amazing" increase in cyclists in 2009. The NY Post doesn't believe any of this.
The DOT also announced the installation of 175 of the city’s first parking meter bike racks, which are created by modifying former parking meter poles with hoops. The city is currently deciding on a vendor to manufacture 6,000 additional racks to be installed at meters citywide, and once complete this will add up to a 50 percent increase over the current total of 13,000 bike racks city wide.