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NYC ‘bike boom’: Record ridership for Citi Bike, de Blasio commits to 30 miles of protected lanes

With the city facing a "bike boom," the de Blasio Administration plans to develop 30 miles of new protected bike lanes across the city this year.
Photo via Getty Images

Amid a record-setting “bike boom” across the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down Wednesday on his administration’s commitment to add 30 miles of protected bike lanes this year.

A record-breaking 2,709,684 rides were taken on Citi Bike in May, according to de Blasio — who said these numbers are a good indication of a “bike boom” all over the city. 

“This is great for our environment, for stopping climate change, for a healthier city, for a less congested city, for a greener city,” said de Blasio. “What a good way to ride into the summer of New York City. You’re going to see people out on their bikes, enjoying this city like never before.”

The city outlined where these protected bike lanes would be created:

Manhattan/Queens

  • East 61st and 62nd Streets, Manhattan/Northern Blvd, Queens: Connecting Midtown to the Queensboro Bridge and the 34th Avenue Open Street in Jackson Heights
  • 7th Avenue – Connecting Central Park to Midtown
  • Varick Street/West Broadway/Church Street/6th Avenue and Centre Street: Connecting Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan to Tribeca and Chinatown

The Bronx

  • Bronxdale Avenue and White Plains Road: Building protected lanes into the existing neighborhood network, hosting e-scooter pilot starting this summer.
  • Morrisania Neighborhood Network: Improving access and safety for local community and schools

Brooklyn

  • Meeker Avenue: East/West connection from new Kosciusko Bridge to Williamsburg

Laura Fox, general manager at Citi Bike and Lyft Bikes, said adding these protected bike lanes is essential to safety and encouraging more ridership. 

“We know from research that it’s one of the most impactful things you can do to get folks on to bikes across the city,” said Fox. 

Lyft has invested over $100 million adding thousands of new bikes and stations in the west Bronx, Inwood, Astoria and Sunset Park. 

“[These] communities are underserved by traditional transit and our bikes are providing New Yorkers in these areas with a fast and easy way to get to the train, run errands and see friends,” said Fox. 

Protected bike lanes create buffered paths for bicyclists to travel separated from regular vehicular traffic. The city’s Department of Transportation has previously reported that protected bike lanes have helped increase street safety and reduce instances of cyclist collisions and fatalities.

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