Fewer Cyclists, Yet More Bike Lanes, Report Says

By DNAinfo Staff on April 13, 2011 9:20am

A Columbus Avenue bike lane. U.S. Census data recently found that fewer than one percent of New Yorkers ride their bikes to work.
A Columbus Avenue bike lane. U.S. Census data recently found that fewer than one percent of New Yorkers ride their bikes to work.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Fewer than one percent of New Yorkers commute to work by bicycle, even as the city increases its efforts to create and enforce bike lanes, the New York Post reported.

According to a U.S. census report, just 0.6 percent of New Yorkers, amounting to 22,686 people, ride their bikes to work every morning, the Post reported.

The census data contradicts Department of Transportation studies which reportedly found that the number of bikers in New York City increased by 66 percent from 2007 to 2009.

"We count cyclists, not questionnaires," Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for DOT,  told the Post, adding that the city counted bike riders ten times a year.

Experts said that the census data looked at the main form of transportation in its count and might have under-reported people who commute to work on a bike a few times a week, the paper reported.

The city has added bike lanes to busy thoroughfares such as Broadway in recent years, as part of an effort to make bike commuting easier and safer.

But Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has said that lax enforcement of the lanes was creating hazardous conditions for pedestrians, riders and drivers.

"You can't put people in harm's way," Stringer said of the confusion about bike lane rules.

In October, Stringer's office counted 1,700 violations over a three-day period, observing 11 different bike lanes around Manhattan.


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