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The Steady Rise of Bike Ridership in New York

Advocates say the latest numbers are encouraging, but the city could still be doing more.
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The newest commuter cycling numbers are out for New York City, and they’re bigger than ever. The latest count available from the city’s transportation department shows a 4 percent increase over the previous year, as measured during 2014’s peak cycling season at key points in New York's bike network [PDF]. The 12-hour weekday count at seven data-collection points was up to 21,112—compared to an anemic 5,631 in 2002.

That news won’t likely come as a surprise to many New Yorkers, who now routinely see bikes outnumbering cars on some streets during rush hour. A generation ago, a person on a bike was almost by definition an outlier who defied the norm (and maybe common sense, given the city’s chaotic traffic culture). Today, it’s not unusual to see parents calmly riding their kids to school before they head off to work themselves on two wheels.