Ocean Parkway circa 1894, via NYC Parks
While many hipsters can be seen trekking through Brooklyn on their bikes today, the borough’s infatuation with cycling actually dates back to the nineteenth century. On June 15, 1894, Ocean Parkway became the first street in the U.S. to have a designated bike lane. The nearly five-mile stretch of road was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the urban planning masterminds behind Central Park and Prospect Park. Originally, their design for Ocean Parkway was to be one of four spokes originating at Prospect Park and spanning across the borough. Today, the road doesn’t actually start at the park but runs parallel to Coney Island Avenue to reach the beach.
The full history this way
Image via Nick Harris/Flickr
As the city subway systems struggle to keep up with increased ridership, it’s a no brainer that more New Yorkers would take to the streets on bicycles rather than deal with the modern-day headaches of train travel. In fact, as 6sqft reported just yesterday, more commuters bike to work here than any other U.S. city. With the growth of bike riding, Mayor de Blasio’s administration is further expanding biker-friendly infrastructure. According to Crain’s, the Department of Transportation announced plans this Monday to add 10 miles of protected bicycle lanes and allocate 50 miles of regular bikeways annually starting this year.
Read more about the mayor’s bike lane rollout
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.
More details ahead
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.
, Wed, September 14, 2016
The city’s newly released, five-year transportation plan is all about the bikes. As part of his larger Vision Zero initiative, the Mayor announced yesterday that he’ll roll out 75 miles of new bike lanes by the end of this year, which includes 18 miles of protected lanes, reports Gothamist. They’ll be dispersed throughout the five boroughs, but centered in areas where the highest number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities occur.
Find out more
With CitiBike expanding deeper into NYC’s many neighborhoods and 70-plus miles of new and upgraded bike lanes added this year alone, it comes as no surprise that more and more New Yorkers are taking to the streets on two wheels. However, while things appear to be changing for the better, it may come as a surprise to many that when it comes to bike-friendliness, NYC still lags way behind other urban hubs. Ahead Michael Seth Wexler of Copenhagenize, a Copenhagen-based consulting firm that publishes the world’s bi-annual bicycle-friendly city index, gives us some insight into why New York can’t seem to catch up with other cities, as well as what can be done to foster a safer more inviting space for cyclists.
MORE ON NYC AND BIKING HERE…
The Department of Transportation just released the downloadable 2016 New York City Bike Map ahead of a paper version due next month. This year’s map shows 70 miles of new or “upgraded” bike-specific lanes, twelve of which are protected (physically separated from auto traffic). Also on the map are seven miles of newly-created off-street bike lanes.
Check out the map
The weather in New York can vary from sunny skies to downpours without notice, and most of us spend at least part, if not all, of our daily commute outside at the mercy of the elements. While the standard umbrella protects us from the rain when we’re on foot, the bike riding community has continued to rely on plastic bags and oversized raincoats to stay dry, leaving their legs and feet exposed to the conditions. Thanks to VANMOOF and their new bike poncho design, cleverly named BONCHO, city cyclists are about to get a lot drier.
More on this clever product
, Wed, September 23, 2015
1,010.2 miles to be exact. Yesterday morning, NYC reached the milestone figure with the painting of its latest lane in the Lower East Side along Clinton Street. In addition to this, the Department of Transportation announced that yet another 12 miles of protected lanes would be completed by the year’s end between West 14th Street and West 33rd Street. The number is above the city’s five-mile annual target, and the highest amount ever installed in any year. The news, a blessing to cyclists citywide, certainly supports the fact that New York is set on strengthening the cycling culture of the city—which has already been named by Bicycling Magazine as 2015’s best American city for bikes.