It’s April. Where Are DOT’s 2015 Bike Numbers?

DOT released its 2014 screenline bike count exactly a year ago. The 2015 count has yet to be posted.

More than three months into 2016, DOT has yet to release last year’s screenline bike count, which shows how cycling in the city center has changed over time.

It’s called the screenline count because it measures the number of cyclists who cross key points around the central business district: the East River bridges, on the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street, and the Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal.

Up until a few years ago, DOT released the bike count in the same year the data was collected, sometimes as early as October. The 2012 count was the first to include winter cycling numbers, and was not released until the following March. Then the 2013 numbers weren’t released until Streetsblog posted an unauthorized copy in July 2014. Last year, DOT released the 2014 count around exactly this time (after a nudge from Streetsblog).

We asked DOT for the 2015 count in January, and the agency said it expected to post the numbers “before Spring 2016.” In response to a follow-up query earlier this month, DOT said the numbers would be released “later this spring.”

With stats going back a few decades, the screenline count provides an excellent trendline of bicycling in the city center. It would be great to see DOT add more metrics to track changes in cycling farther from the Manhattan core. But failing that, just releasing this key indicator on a timely schedule again would be a welcome change.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Screenline counts woefully undercount cycling these days. I generally do not trust the DOT bike counts, because my own spot counts always indicate a signifucantly higher number of cyclists ( and lower number of cars ) than DOT

  • Reader

    I’d love to see DOT do counts along popular intra-borough routes. Think of all the people who commute from Williamsburg to DUMBO via Kent and Flushing who never get picked up by the screenline counts because they don’t cross a bridge. Comparing those numbers to the number of people who are counted at the Williamsburg or Manhattan bridges would be illuminating, I’m sure.

    I’d also like DOT to do a wider report about modal splits. What’s more impressive? That X thousand people cross a particular bridge each day or that cyclists make up 34% of traffic on Jay Street during rush hour? If DOT could do a broader annual cycling report card, that would be great information to have for all kinds of key routes.

  • ahwr

    It would also be great if they could count people instead of vehicles.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    You mean Like the thousands of empty FHV cruising round and round ?

  • Shemp
  • ahwr

    I mean on Jay street one bike carrying one person shouldn’t be counted the same as one bus moving 30 people.

  • BBnet3000

    When I rode in San Francisco they were under a legal injunction that prevented them from building bike infra and it was already significantly more bike friendly than NYC is today.

    They’re going to be in Portland percentage range soon while we fight it out for king of the bottom tier with Chicago and Boston. So much for empty promises to double mode share by 2020 (which even if serious and accomplished would only put us in Pittsburgh range).

  • Alexander Vucelic


    bike share of roadway traffic Is 10% in CBD. In Many blocks it’s 20%. on Jay street it’s often >30%

    We all can see cycling Is growing by double digit rates in NYC

  • ahwr

    Why should a taxi driver driving to a fare count less than a delivery cyclist deadheading back to the restaurant?

  • Alexander Vucelic

    A bike delivering goods has:
    1/20 the roadspace
    1/1000 Wear and test of roadbed
    1/10,000 Noise pollution
    1/53,000 the deaths from pollution
    1/40,000 deaths from impact
    1/2,500,000 Humans maimed

    Plus a empty FHV circling round & round isn’t “going to a fare’, He os circlimg aimlessly hoping a fare comes to him.

  • Alicia

    You said “taxi driver driving to a fare,” but you what you really meant was “one bus moving 30 people”? Yes, that makes perfect sense!

  • ahwr

    Hover over when a comment was posted, right now the one you responded to says ‘a day ago’ and it’ll give you the time/date stamp when the post was made. You responded to one that was posted ~90 minutes before my taxi driver comment. The first, that you just responded to, was written in response to Alexander frequently ignoring that there are more transit users on Jay street than cyclists during peak today, and frequent writing as if cyclists are the only group not getting their ‘fair share’ of public space.

  • BBnet3000

    The difference is that bus riders don’t feel a threat to life and limb and the mode of transportation isn’t nearly extinct.

    Also, there is enough room for bike facilities of some kind without removing parking, whereas there’s no way to put in bus lanes without removing parking, which is apparently not on the table.

    For these two reasons a bike facility is taking precedence while buses will continue to chug in traffic until we can make a real change to the design of Jay Street.

  • Jonathan R

    Why collect this information when the numbers won’t influence policy in the slightest? If the number has dropped, we who write Streetsblog comments will attribute this to a pervasive lack of safety, and call on NYPD and DOT to make things easier for bicyclists; if the number has risen, we will attribute this to the inexorable rise of the bicycle lobby and call on NYPD and DOT to make things easier for cyclists.

  • BootsandMary Whitlock

    I know e-bikes are illegal but do they count them anyway?? I know that cities respond to numbers so once a critical mass of riders is reached; a city can really go after making biking safe. simple math: bikes + ebikes = more bikes for the city to take notice of. just sayin…


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