NYC lost thousands of parking spots as daily bike ridership increased 80 percent in five years
The NYC Department of Transportation has released its new “Cycling in the City” report, which examines how frequently New Yorkers use bikes as a mode of transportation and how that frequency has changed over time. In 2016, there were 14 million Citi Bike trips taken, a whopping 40 percent more than the previous year. And in terms of general bike riding, the DOT found that daily cycling grew 80 percent from 2010 to 2015, with 450,000 cycling trips made on a typical day in New York. But what has this meant for drivers? Less parking, thanks to the the city’s 1,000+ miles of bike lanes. NY1 reports that in Manhattan alone, 2,300 parking spots south of 125th Street were lost in recent years to bike lanes and bike-sharing stations.
Another city initiative that began a trial last month would take away even more parking spots if permanently implemented. The proposal appropriated 600 public and metered parking spots for car-sharing companies like ZipCar and Car2Go to rent. In addition to increasing bike ridership, the city believes carsharing services can significantly reduce the number of cars on the streets. City Councilman Mark Levine told Metro of the pilot, “There are 1.5 million private cars in the city and millions more that come in every single day, and there is simply not enough space to put all of them. The only way is to find alternatives to private ownership. The companies’ research says that as many as 50 people share a single car. So technically, the program would free up parking space.”
Though these initiatives may seem like a no brainer, the loss of parking spots comes at a cost to delivery drivers who often find themselves double parked in bike lanes, receiving more fines. And for New Yorkers who need a car to get work, they’re now being forced to enroll in parking garages, which typically cost around $500 a month for a spot, but can soar to $1,000. But the city’s transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg says the streets still favor vehicles: “We dedicate about 95 percent of (the streets) to automobiles, and actually only about 5 percent to buses and cycles. And yet buses and cycles are the way we are going to carry the most people.”
For more information on cycling trends in the city, read the DOT’s full report here>>