It had been about five months since any hotly contested statistics about the number of cyclists in the city were published, so the Department of Transportation just released the results of its study of ridership figures (see below). The DOT says that the number of cyclists has increased by eight percent in the last year, and more than doubled since 2007.
The DOT study, which involves measuring the number of cyclists passing over the four East River bridges, along the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street, and the Whitehall ferry terminal, counted 18,846 riders per day, up from last year’s daily tally of 17,491. More impressive, that number marks a 102 percent increase since 2007, and a 289 percent increase in bike ridership since 2001.
The DOT attributes the increases to their efforts to make the city’s streets more hospitable for cyclists by adding bike lanes and such.
In the last four years, the agency has added some 260 miles of bicycle lanes to streets in all five boroughs to enhance safety for all users, especially pedestrians. In its landmark Pedestrian Safety Report and Action Plan, DOT found that streets with bike lanes are 40% less deadly for pedestrians.
To accommodate all those extra bikes, the DOT report says, the agency will be installing another 6,000 bike racks around the city, bringing the grand total to about 19,000. The eight percent increase in ridership, meanwhile, is less dramatic than the 14 percent increase estimated earlier this year.