No discussion of transportation in New York would be complete without talking about one of the cheapest, easiest—and, increasingly, most popular—ways of getting around the city: biking.
To wit: a New York Times report from earlier this year noted that about 450,000 bike trips are taken every day in the five boroughs, with one in five of those trips being taken by someone who’s commuting. There are now more than 1,000 bike lanes in the city, a number that has doubled from a decade ago. And Citi Bike, which launched in 2013, has increased its membership numbers to approximately 130,000 in the past few years.
Biking is also becoming more popular among New Yorkers; in a recent Transportation Alternatives poll, 40 percent of those surveyed supported the expansion of protected bike paths in the city, and approximately 70 percent support the expansion of Citi Bike.
Welcome to Curbed’s first-ever Transportation Week!
From how to improve public transportation in cities, ranking the best car-free neighborhoods across the country, and a friendly competition between NYC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to determine which has the best public transit, this week is all about how we get around in our favorite cities. All aboard!
This doesn’t mean that everything is completely rosy for bike commuters in New York City; though Mayor Bill de Blasio has championed the progress made by the city’s Vision Zero program, 13 cyclists have been killed in traffic crashes this year, and more than 2,700 have been injured. While things are getting better, there’s more the city could do to make its streets safer.
But with a more robust network of bike lanes, more options for novice cyclists, and more public support, now’s a great time to give cycling in the city a try if you’ve been on the fence. To gauge what it’s like to be a bike commuter in New York, we talked to four cyclists who’ve been doing just that for several years—read on for their stories.