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Scenes From the Rush Hour Bike Commute in NYC

12:59 PM EDT on October 15, 2013

It's fall and getting cooler in New York City, but that hasn't slowed down the people jumping on bikes. During rush hour it's starting to become a bit crowded, and that's a good thing. If you haven't been to NYC recently, you'll be amazed how much the protected bike lanes and Citi Bike are encouraging more people to ride.

During a recent rush hour ride home through the heart of Manhattan, I couldn't believe it. On Second Avenue, unbroken streams of cyclists ride in clumps -- at one point I counted 20 people riding single-file! So I decided to log some footage during two successive p.m. rush hours on some of NYC's most bike-busy commute paths, including the Manhattan Bridge, Second Avenue, and the West Side Greenway.

A few things I learned from the footage I shot:

    • More cyclists are riding the right way on the protected bike lanes and greenways. Sure, some people salmon, but it seems far less prevalent than a few years ago. Perhaps that's because the numbers are getting so big that self-preservation has taken hold? Whatever the factors, it feels more civilized.
    • Bikes are everywhere and drivers are noticing. Even on popular bike commute segments without bike lanes, drivers seem a little more aware, since cyclists are omnipresent.
    • Citi Bike has undoubtedly boosted cycling numbers and the visibility of bicycles on the streets. The bikes are blue, their front lights flash, and lots of "everyday" folks use them. They're impossible to miss.

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