MANHATTAN — New Yorkers really love their bikes.
Daily bicycle ridership was up 14 percent this past spring over last year, according to newly released Department of Transportation statistics.
The city counted nearly 19,000 riders a day at major commuter points around Manhattan this past spring compared with just over 16,000 during the same time period in 2010, the DOT said. Ridership is up an eye-popping 262 percent over 2000.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg attributed the increase to the city's aggressive campaign to increase the number and length of bike lanes around town.
“More and more New Yorkers are choosing to get around town by bicycle, and by creating more bike lanes, we’re giving New Yorkers the option to safely choose to bike,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
The cycling data was collected at six spots around Manhattan — the Whitehall Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry, the Manhattan Bridge, the 59th Street/Ed Koch Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street. Surveys were done over the course of four days in April, May and June.
The city then took an average of this year's figures, and compared it to past year. It has been keeping data on bike ridership since 1985.
Since 2002, the DOT has installed over 390 miles of bike lanes.
“More New Yorkers than ever are using the expanding bike route network, and still more are seeing the benefit it brings for everybody who uses the streets,” DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in a statement.
Despite the increase in bicycle riders citywide, the number of bicycle riders fatalities dropped from 25 in 2008 to 19 in 2010, DOT statistics show.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday said that 59 percent of New Yorkers approve of bike lanes, saying they are good for the environment, with 35 percent saying they contribute to traffic congestion.