Detailed Times Poll Numbers Show Broad Bike Lane, Bike-Share Support

Poll numbers from the New York Times show citywide support for bike lanes and bike-share.

More complete numbers are available from the New York Times poll on bicycle lanes and bike-share, and despite what Times reporters might have you believe, they show that bicycling is very much in New York City’s mainstream. (In an earlier version of the online article, reporters Michael Grynbaum and Marjorie Connolly said that “cycling remains far from mainstream in New York.” The phrase has been removed from the updated version.)

Before it’s even opened, 59 percent of adult New Yorkers have heard of Citi Bike, and one in three New Yorkers are somewhat or very likely to use the service, which will cover parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island City. The household bike ownership rate stands at 54 percent, higher than the 46 percent of households that own cars. Among individuals whose households do not own bicycles, 62 percent support the city’s bike lanes, with majorities supporting bike lanes in all five boroughs.

UPDATE: DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan welcomed the poll’s results. Citing “five years of careful planning, community consultation and implementation,” Sadik-Khan said that “New Yorkers have spoken, and they like their bike lanes. New York today has the biggest and best bike network in the United States.  It’s satisfying to see the support and demand for a bike-friendly New York that has allowed us to get here.”

  • Anonymous

    So Grynbaum looked at a poll that showed 59% awareness for bike share and instead ran with the idea that it’s remains a “mystery” to 40% of the public.  I mean, really.

  • Streetmsan

    They’re so “radical”

  • Streetmsan

    They’re so “radical”

  • J

    30% of respondents were either somewhat or very likely to use bikeshare. Even if only half of the “somewhats” actually use it, that is still 20% of New Yorkers on bikeshare, which is astounding. It would basically make NYC the biking capital of North America, pretty much overnight. This survey is very very exciting, no matter how much Grynbaum tries to downplay it.

  • I hear there’s an information minister position open in Iraq if Grynbaum wants it.

    “No, no, there are no bicycles here! No one likes them at all! It is impossible that cycling is mainstream, I have observed it to be universally marginal. You are making up facts!”

  • If your average company were going to introduce a new product and found that a) 59% of New Yorkers had heard of it before it was launched, and b) that 30% of New Yorkers said they were likely to try it, executives at that company would be dancing around deliriously with joy.

  • carma

    it may sound disturbing at first that only 11% are very likely to use it, but  11% of a population of 8Mil is 880,000?
    holy crap!!!
    umm… where gonna need a lot more bikes.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t the headline on the story change, too?  It used to be a tepid “Most New Yorkers Say Bike Lanes are a Good Idea.” Now it’s “Bicycle Lanes Draw Wide Support Among New Yorkers, Survey Finds.”  You can see the old headline in the URL.

  • Joe R.

    I would be rich if 11% of New Yorkers wanted to buy something I’m selling. Frankly, I’m amazed at these numbers. Remember that even something as ubiquitous as the subway is probably only regularly used by one third of NYC residents. I think Citi Bike should be doing long term plans for 100K bikes. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if we really needed that many in, say, 5 years.

  • Station44025

    People I know who live in Paris an DC use bike share daily and swear by it. I’m predicting angry editorial page rants about how there aren’t enough bikes within the first year.

  • Tom

    Not sure how anyone could think that bike lanes are a bad idea or don’t know. Especially people that own and ride bikes. Of course they are a good idea.

  • eric

    They will need more than 10,000 bikes, but even if 880,000 people try it, they won’t need even close to 100,000 bikes.  For example, Velib has 18,000 bikes and 200,000 annual subscriptions (and undoubtedly many more daily/weekly/monthly subscribers). Paris is about the size of the planned Citi Bike area, and Velib is MUCH cheaper than Citi Bike will be.

  • Ben Kintisch

    What’s stunning about these survey results is that previous surveys have found similar numbers, and yet many bike lane plans have been slowed, scaled back, or stymied all together because of a handful of community board members expres their own personal reservations or qualms. Take Harlem – where a major safe streets re-design on Adam Clayton Powell didn’t include bike lanes – because DOT knew that CB just doesn’t want it. You better believe it that Harlem residents would use those lanes well. Here in Brooklyn, bike traffic is up visibly in bike lanes and on streets without lanes. So keep installing them, DOT, to make us safer – even if Community Boards are still years behind public opinion, the public is on your side!

  • carma

    theres no doubt that bike lanes are a good thing.  however, when a bike lane is implemented in a wrong way, it leads to poor use and resentment of bike lanes.  imo, a great bike lane would be something like PPW, a poor bike lane would be Broadway where pedestrians frequently use the bike lane causing confusion of what it really is.


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