It's important to keep enough air in your bike tires, both for reasons of practicality and comfort while riding. But it's not like everyone out there can be bothered to carry one of those small handheld bike pumps with them. Time was, you'd need to hope you were near one of our dwindling number of gas stations and use their air to get a quick boost. But now the DOT is bowing to the dreaded bike lobby and offering cyclists a hand with a trio of bike pumps that are free to use.
— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) August 29, 2017
The DOT tweeted a picture of employees installing the pumps yesterday, and a spokesperson for the agency confirmed that the free pumps are part of a new pilot program they're running. One bike pump is under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, one is off of the Williamsburg Bridge in Manhattan, and a third is going to get installed at the St. George Staten Island ferry terminal once construction work at the site is finished.
According to the spokesperson, the pumps are part of an effort on the city's part to help out the increasing number of cyclists in the city, a population that's grown 150 percent since the 1990s, according to DOT officials. These specific locations were chosen because they were heavily trafficked and contained some shelter for the pump, according to a department spokesperson. Those conditions will dictate how future sites for the pumps would be chosen.
Before any more pumps are rolled out, however, the DOT will study how the pumps respond to factors like weather and heavy usage, along with some of the more unique conditions public infrastructure faces in the city. Dogs peeing on them? Probably dogs peeing on them.