Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

Eyes on the Street: Say Hello to NYC’s First Bike Counter at the Base of the Manhattan Bridge

DOT crews installing the bike counter at Forsyth Plaza this morning. Photo: NYC DOT

At last, New York City cyclists know they count. DOT crews installed this sleek bike counter display on the Manhattan side of the Manhattan Bridge this morning.

The bike counters are a very public way to convey the volume of cycling activity, which can be hard for some people to appreciate because bikes take up so much less space than cars. San Francisco has had one on Market Street for several years. Copenhagen has 20 of them.

Two years ago, Bahij Chancey set up on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge and manually counted passing cyclists. His goal was to get the city to put in bike "totems" on every East River bridge. Over the course of the day, he counted 5,589 crossings.

“A lot of criticism from community boards focuses on the idea that cycling is a seasonal mode of transportation,” Chancey told AMNY. “The counter is a great way to incentivize cycling — for people to see the numbers of rides and compare it to car traffic — and to establish it as a viable, quick, cheap commuting option that people use all year around.”

DOT's automated counters have been recording bike trips on the East River bridges since 2013, but the stats aren't accessible to the public on the city's open data portal. Instead DOT folds them into periodic reports on cycling activity.

The counter is no substitute for open data, but it's a welcome sight.

So far, on a hot day when lots of folks are likely to be opting for air-conditioned trains, DOT had counted more than 2,200 bike crossings as of 3:43 p.m.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Thursday’s Headlines: Paris is a Lot Cooler than NYC Edition

The City of Light has figured out how to reduce the heat island effect. Plus other news in today's daily digest.

July 18, 2024

Exclusive: Legal Team Announced for Suit Against Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Attorneys from three firms have inked a joint defense agreement to fight "the governor’s illegal decision to cancel congestion pricing," Comptroller Brad Lander said.

July 17, 2024

Brooklyn BP Wants Mayor Adams To Do More To Reduce Parking

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso's recommendation on City of Yes: Eliminating parking mandates is not enough!

July 17, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Citi Bike By the Numbers Edition

Haters of Citi Bike are really going to detest the new website. Plus other news.

July 17, 2024

Once Again, There is More Evidence that Safer Streets Help Local Business

...and there's more insight into why people simply don't believe it.

July 17, 2024
See all posts