NYC Named Top U.S. Cycling City

Bicycling Magazine + NYC DOT Press Conference

Hurray for the hometown! At a press conference in Soho this week, the NYC Department of Transportation and Bicycling Magazine announced New York City’s ascent to the No. 1 most cycling friendly city in America.

New York City had been pegged by the magazine as a city to watch in 2010 and ranked seventh in 2012, before taking top honors this year. Chicago was second and Minneapolis third. Portland, which topped the list in 2012, fell to fourth place this year.

In formulating the rankings of towns with populations over 100,000 Bicycling Magazine considers Census data, overall percentage and growth rate of commuters and amount and quality of infrastructure, as well as data compiled by leading advocacy organizations such as the League of American Bicyclists. The list is updated every two years.

Progress on Bike Lanes and Bike Share

The honor recognizes the city’s progress under the leadership of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and  Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (see her celebratory tweet above) and a robust advocacy movement. Since 2007, more than 350 bike lane miles, including 31 miles of protected bike paths, were added and North America’s largest public bike share, now with more than 96,000 annual members, was launched and has gained enormous popularity.

Ambitious Goals Ahead

Commissioner Trottenberg (top photo) vowed continued progress.

“The de Blasio administration is moving forward with our own bike initiatives, to meet the mayor’s very ambitious goal of increasing the share of all trips in New York City taken by bike to six percent by 2020,” she said. “Do not worry. We will not rest on past accomplishments.”

She also announced results of a study showing that streets with protected bike lanes have reduced injuries for all road users by 20 percent.

Trottenberg and Strickland were joined by Paul Steely-White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives and Ken Podziba, president and CEO of Bike New York.

‘Vibrancy’ of NYC Cycling Culture

Standing at a podium next to the new Lafayette Street protected bike lane, with a Citibike station in the background and bicyclists whizzing by, Bicycling Magazine’s editor-in-chief Bill Strickland pointed to the variety and dynamism of New York City’s cycling culture.

“We wanted to reward the entire vibrancy of what’s going on in New York City,” he said.

Writer Ian Dille, in his article in the October issue of the magazine, also makes note of the Big Apple’s broader influence as a role model.

“Success here, we strongly believe, will radically speed up the spread of bike share and the cycling culture across the country,” he writes.

Bicycling Magazine is on newsstands now. Cue Sinatra, and “start spreading the news.” …

 Photos: velojoy

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