DOT and Citi Bike Celebrate Sixth Avenue Bikeway and #WomenWhoBike

Dozens of people participated in a bike ride today to celebrate Women’s Bike Month and the return of a protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue. Photos: NYC DOT
Dozens of people participated in a bike ride today to celebrate Women’s Bike Month and the return of a protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue. Photos: NYC DOT

DOT and Citi Bike marked the return of a protected bike lane to Sixth Avenue today with a ribbon-cutting and celebratory ride. The event also served to highlight Women’s Bike Month and a Motivate campaign to encourage women in NYC to ride bikes.

The new Sixth Avenue bikeway runs from Eighth Street to 33rd Street, the same street where mayor Ed Koch installed a protected bike lane in 1980 before ripping it out a few months later.

“As an enthusiastic Citi Bike rider, I want women to know that Citi Bike is a safe, affordable, and healthy transit option,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in a statement. “With such a big gender gap among cyclists, we believe that bike-share and over 1,000 miles of bike lanes around the city will be among the keys to getting more women to ride.”

Studies by Hunter College and NYU’s Rudin Center, both from 2014, showed that around 75 percent of Citi Bike users were men, but that women were more likely to ride where streets are made safer for biking, according to a Citi Bike/DOT press release.

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Trottenberg was joined this morning by Jay Walder — CEO of Motivate, which operates Citi Bike — as well as Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Caroline Samponaro, Tri-State Transportation Campaign Executive Director Veronica Vanterpool, Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi and dozens of others to inaugurate the lane and promote a month-long slate of events intended to get more women on bikes.

“Our research finds that twice as many women are riding in protected bike lanes on redesigned streets like Manhattan’s Eighth and Ninth avenues, compared to the unprotected lanes we see on streets like Fifth Avenue,” said Samponaro. “With a continued investment in Citi Bike and protected bike lanes, we will see the number of women riding continue to grow, which is a great thing for the city’s transportation network.”

More photos from today’s press conference and ride are here.

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