With 8 Percent Bump in 2011, NYC Bike Count Has Doubled Since 2007

NYC DOT's screenline bike count has doubled since 2007. Full graphic available in this ##http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/commuter_cycling_indicator_and_data_2011.pdf##PDF##.

The New York City Department of Transportation recorded an eight percent increase in the number of people biking into Manhattan below 50th street this year. The bike count has now doubled since 2007, when the city’s first on-street protected bike lane was installed on Ninth Avenue.

This year’s increase is less than the double-digit increases of recent years, and it appears to 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.

NYC DOT’s screenline count measures cyclists crossing the four East River bridges, the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street, and riding the Staten Island Ferry. It’s the best hard count of cycling activity available but doesn’t capture bike trips outside the city core.

In addition to the new bike count, NYC DOT announced that it is expanding its program to convert defunct coin-slot parking meters into bike parking. The department has transmogrified 175 meters so far and plans to convert thousands more. They are currently reviewing responses to an RFP seeking to repurpose 6,000 meters as bike racks.

“Our infrastructure needs to keep pace with new demands on city streets,” transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in a statement. “By transforming obsolete parking meters into off-the-rack bike parking, we are recycling old facilities to meet this growing need.”

An additional 6,000 bike racks would represent nearly a 50 percent increase over the current total of 13,000. While the number of racks has skyrocketed in the last few years, DOT needs to make up for the loss of tens of thousands of decommissioned parking meters that functioned as de facto bike parking spaces.

With today’s announcement, DOT seems to have hit one of the benchmarks in its Sustainable Streets strategic plan, which set out to double bicycling rates compared to 2007 levels by 2012. The next target: Tripling the 2007 baseline cycling rate by 2017.

  • Louise Carswell

    DOT fudges the data. Nobody uses the bike lanes.

  • dporpentine

    @5407fb2581248a21d4bb883bfd9899cb:disqus Except all those cyclists mowing down pedestrians.

    It’s the Carswell/Hainline Paradox.

  • carma

    Louise, I agree, nobody uses these damn bike lanes.
    Just the other day i was riding with my invisibility cloak on to make sure no one saw me.  im sure all the other users of these damn bike lanes was also using their invisibility cloaks.

  • J

    It will be fascinating to see how this changes next year, with protected lanes on 8th & 9th through midtown (maybe slightly less greenway traffic?) and bikeshare! My prediction: 50% increase, overall.

  • I could see a scenario where the increase from bike-share doesn’t really turn up in the screenline count.

  • Brooklyn Bridge Biker

    Tourists are going to bike across the ERB’s like crazy, mark my words.

  • Dennis Hindman

    The installation of Velib bicycle sharing in Paris had an immediate side impact of encouraging more people to use their own bikes. It will be interesting to see if there is a large jump in the count next year, after the bike share installation. New bikeways should not be a large contributer towards the increase as New York City is only putting in 9.1 miles this year, down considerably from the previous four years.

  • Afterthefall

    Truly there are lies, damn lies, and statistics: “Bike count has doubled since 2007”.

    Impressive until you analyze it. 

    It is merely an increase of about 9,000 people.  In a city of millions, that represents less than a 1% increase! 
    The same applies to the “8% increase” in the past year: less than 2,000 of an increase.

    Nothing to crow about. But if DOT couldn’t manipulate some increase to justify all the millions it has spent on the infrastructure and the  bureaucrats’ salaries over the past 9 Bloomberg years, the bureaucrats would be out a job.

  • Paul

    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:

  • Paul

    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


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