Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

NYC Bike Counts Jump 35 Percent

screenline.jpgThe rumors were spot on. Yesterday DOT announced a 35 percent increase in commuter cycling. This year, an average of more than 12,500 cyclists were counted crossing DOT's screenline -- a set of checkpoints leading into the Manhattan CBD -- up from about 9,300 in 2007. It's the biggest jump in raw numbers since the count began and the largest percent increase since 2003, when the count went up 36 percent. Overall, cycling in the city has doubled in the past six years. (See the stat breakdown in this PDF -- the full version of the bar graph at right is on page 5.)

Advocates cheered the news. "More bike lanes and safer designs like Ninth Avenue are really starting
to pay off," says TA's Wiley Norvell. "These
numbers really show the huge latent potential for biking in NYC. We
can't wait for 2009."

DOT paired its announcement with a safety message for cyclists and, yes, drivers:

"This unprecedented increase shows we are well on the way toward our goal of doubling the number of bike commuters," said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "As these numbers rise, cyclists should take all safety precautions, while drivers must be vigilant when sharing our streets with this growing population."

Meanwhile, fueling what could become a heated intercity rivalry, bike counts just came out of Portland touting a 28 percent increase in cycling this year, bringing bike commute mode share up to eight percent.

More background from DOT on its screenline count, after the jump.

DOT first conducted screenline counts of cyclists in 1980 and has beendoing so annually since 1984.  Counts were historically taken once ayear, during the middle of the week for a 12-hour period from 7 a.m. to7 p.m. In 2007, DOT expanded the time window to 18 hours and added twoadditional counting dates. The 18-hour count showed that over a quarterof cyclists counted use City streets earlier in the morning and laterin the day than previously believed. While commuter cycling has doubledover the past six years, DOT has found that some facilities have gottenmuch more popular.  The cyclist volume on the Williamsburg Bridge hasquadrupled from 2000-2008 to 4,000 cyclists on a typical day.

DOT's NYC Commuter Cycling Indicator makes use of the most robust data available to estimate the trends in commuter cycling.  While not every commuter cyclist in New York is counted in the screenline, the count locations are high usage areas where trends are easily spotted. The screenline count looks at cyclists crossing the four East River bridges, those entering and exiting the Staten Island Ferry's Whitehall terminal, as well as cyclists crossing 50th Street on each avenue and the Hudson River Greenway.

This growth in cycling follows two years of DOT efforts to rapidly expand and improve New York's bicycle network. DOT added 140 miles of new bicycle routes to the on-street bicycle network in 2007 and 2008.

Graphic: NYCDOT [PDF]

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Exclusive: Legal Team Announced for Suit Against Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Attorneys from three firms have inked a joint defense agreement to fight "the governor’s illegal decision to cancel congestion pricing," Comptroller Brad Lander said.

July 17, 2024

Brooklyn BP Wants Mayor Adams To Do More To Reduce Parking

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso's recommendation on City of Yes: Eliminating parking mandates is not enough!

July 17, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Citi Bike By the Numbers Edition

Haters of Citi Bike are really going to detest the new website. Plus other news.

July 17, 2024

Once Again, There is More Evidence that Safer Streets Help Local Business

...and there's more insight into why people simply don't believe it.

July 17, 2024

Bedford Ave. Protected Bike Lane Would Benefit Residents, Businesses: Data

A new report debunks the common myth that street safety projects aren't built for the benefit of people who live in a given neighborhood.

July 16, 2024
See all posts