According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 34,496 New Yorkers – or 1 percent of the city's population – commuted to work by bike between 2008-2012.
First we want to say we are proud of our city for achieving that feat, since it hasn't been an easy earn. Thanks to the years-long efforts of groups like Transportation Alternatives and other bike-minded community organizations and small businesses, biking in in the city has transitioned from an at-your-own-risk thrill to an everyday activity.
During the Bloomberg administration, 350 miles of new bike lanes were added to city streets. The continued push for bike lanes, signage, and driver education in the city has taken the center lane in city policy since the de Blasio administration took office earlier this year, and in the meantime several new bills have been signed into law to help make the roads a safer place for all people, whether on a bike, in a car or on foot.
But the city shouldn't celebrate its achievement too early, because there is a lot of work to do in order to bring our city's streets up to the world-class standards of cities like Montreal, where bike lanes are regularly separated from traffic by a physical barrier.
Here in New York, relatively few bike lanes have protective barriers to separate moving and stationary vehicles from cyclists.
While it is nice to know that New York City has asserted its dominance in yet another category over other cities around the country, we only hope that this titular attainment will spark further progress in the city rather than serving as an indicator that things are fine as they are, since clearly, they are not.