Flooded with cyclists
It’s a great time for biking in Brooklyn and across NYC. New York City has always been a very bikeable city due to its relatively flat terrain and mainly grid-based structure, but recent years have seen a tremendous rise in the popularity of cycling across the diverse population.
Much of the rise in participation in cycling has been due to the efforts of city government. Dedicated bike lanes have been established in much of the city, and large areas of the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts have been reclaimed for parks with bike lanes.
There has been a strong biking culture here for many years, but in the past the image of cycling in our city streets may have been one of a hard-core bike messenger dodging in and out of traffic. Now our daily commutes are flooded with cyclists from all walks of life taking advantage of new infrastructure.
New York City has one of the most extensive and most used transit systems in the country. It is also crowded. Cycling offers a great alternative and complements mass transit for many commuters. As we stop and speak to other cyclists in Brooklyn and across NYC we hear over and over that a bike is the greatest way to truly experience the diversity and flavor of New York’s amazing neighborhoods on a day-to-day basis. Within the five boroughs, there are countless pockets of undiscovered variety and cultural flavor. There is an excitement to biking in NYC. When you’re on a bike here you’re right in the middle of the rich and fast-paced urban interactions. You are street-level. You are connected.
Cyclists’ needs vary greatly, from the daily commute to light transport. In a place where many people do not own a car, biking offers some much-needed utility. In addition, many beautiful parts of the outer borough waterfronts, like the Rockaways, are accessible by bike.
This year also marked the debut of Citibike, NYC’s bike-share program. By any measure, the first year of bike sharing in New York was a success. With participation numbers that exceeded all expectations, Citibike has opened up cycling culture to a whole new group of people who, for logistical reasons or otherwise, do not own a bike. In addition, tourists have now flocked to bike sharing as a sensible and active way to see NYC on their terms.