A few weeks ago walking up 2nd Avenue I couldn't believe the numbers of bike riders in NYC. Hell it is only March! So on a whim I decided to try something out I've almost never done: attempt to get some real data
to try to show our leaders that they need to get ready for a NYC Bike Boom that will surely outpace 2020's stellar year!
Riders know it and see it. We should be putting in bike infrastructure everywhere. Right now! The momentum is with us. We even have a Transportation Commissioner at the Federal Level who really really is riding a bike!
So what'd I do? On my way home from some physical therapy on my knee, I went over to 2nd Avenue and just put the camera on a tripod so I could count users (vehicles and bikes) on the asphalt. I decided to aim for about 20 minutes. It ended up being 3 intersections.
The results were fascinating. Not only were 1/3rd of the transportation devices using the roadway bikes (I lumped in a few scooters to their count) but the number stayed incredibly consistent at each intersection.
Yes, yes, I am not a professional statistician but I certainly think my logic here is pretty legit for a small scale experiment. To those who care I counted...
- A bike rider anywhere on 2nd Avenue as a user (not just in the lane)
- Vehicle = car, van, taxi, truck
- Buses I counted separately
Of course one could not state that 1/3rd of the users were bicyclists, as there are many people on a single bus and I certainly didn't count pedestrians using the sidewalk. But 2nd Avenue for most of its length consists now of a bike lane, car parking, 3 travel lanes and a variable bus only lane.
The fact that bike riders are starting to get so crowded this early in the year is a clarion call to the mayor and those candidates looking to replace him that we need serious action!
2021 could be the greatest year for biking in NYC if we just make it safer for all.
(Note: I made this Streetfilm in the Fall about the 2020 Bike Boom that's chock full of good stats: vimeo.com/461694938)
(Note 2: Amazingly in the 20 minutes of video here, only one rider went the wrong way - and it was on a sidewalk.)