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Commuter Bike Traffic Sets Record in NYC

Published July 31, 2011

NEW YORK, NY (BRAIN)—The number of commuter bike riders in New York City increased 14 percent compared to last spring, according to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who has been the subject of vitriol for her strong advocacy of bike lanes and other cycling amenities in the nation's most populous city.

Commuter cycling has increased by 62 percent when compared to spring of 2008 and by 262 percent overall since 2000, according to data released by the city. 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.”

Sadik-Khan noted that biking is booming even though New York provides commuters with more options than anywhere else in the country.

“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,” she said.

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.

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