Image via WikiCommons
Earlier this year, 6sqft shared data from the Department of Transportation that found daily Citi Bike ridership had grown 80 percent from 2010 to 2015, and now, according to new information published in the Times, those figures have ballooned even more. Last Wednesday was “the highest single-day ridership of any system in the Western world outside of Paris,” reports the bike share program, with a staggering 70,286 trips. These figures are part of an overall bike-centric trend in the city that “has outpaced population and employment growth” with New Yorkers taking an average of 450,000 daily bike trips, exponentially higher than the 2005 average of 170,000. And about one-fifth of these trips is by commuters, making New York home to more bike commuters than any other city in the country.
In 2005, 16,468 New Yorkers primarily biked to work; in 2015, this had more than doubled to 46,057. More telling, Citi Bike reports that annual membership is up from last year’s 100,000 to 130,000 currently, and in 2016, they reached nearly 14 million trips. The reason is likely the program’s recent expansion efforts. They now have 600 locations with a total of 10,000 bicycles. And in May, Citi Bike announced a plan that would add 6,000 more bikes to the system, 4,000 of them in areas like Staten Island and the Bronx that have no docks.
The Times points to Brooklyn’s Hoyt Street as a specific example of biking’s popularity. On a recent evening, 442 bikes traversed the street in one hour as compared with 331 cars. This was more than triple the 141 bikes counted in the same hour in 2011.
There are plenty of New Yorkers, however, who oppose the city’s plan to add even more bike lanes (there are currently 1,133 miles, much more than 2006’s 513 miles), pointing to cyclists who travel in the wrong direction, text while riding, run red lights, or cross onto sidewalks. Others don’t like how bike lanes and Citi Bike docking stations take away parking spaces or make it difficult for deliveries. A recent study found that “in Manhattan alone, 2,300 parking spots south of 125th Street were lost in recent years to bike lanes and bike-sharing stations.”
Nevertheless, the city’s transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg said, “We can’t continue to accommodate a lot of the growth with cars. We need to turn to the most efficient modes, that is, transit, cycling and walking. Our street capacity is fixed.”
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- How Citi Bike stacks up against other U.S. bike shares
- NYC lost thousands of parking spots as daily bike ridership increased 80 percent in five years