New Brooklyn Bridge Bike Lane An Immediate Hit Among Cyclists, Data Shows

New Brooklyn Bridge Bike Lane An Immediate Hit Among Cyclists, Data Shows

The brand new Brooklyn Bridge bike lane has almost doubled biking charges over the long-lasting East River crossing, the most recent signal of improved infrastructure fueling a rise within the metropolis’s biking inhabitants.

The 2-way bike lane, which opened in mid-September, noticed a mean of 4,206 each day rides in October, its first full month of operation, up from 2,239 throughout the identical interval final 12 months, based on the Division of Transportation, which launched knowledge on East River crossings’ bicycle owner counts.

On the similar time, ridership tendencies on the adjoining Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge have remained largely constant — suggesting the brand new lane hasn’t simply enticed present cyclists, however coaxed extra New Yorkers to get on a motorcycle.

“We have reclaimed space from cars to make cycling over the Brooklyn Bridge safer and easier, while making the pedestrian experience better than ever – and it has been a great success,” DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman mentioned in an announcement.

Biking advocates had lengthy referred to as for a devoted bike lane to alleviate harrowing situations on the bridge’s tourist-heavy promenade. After beforehand rejecting the proposal, Mayor Invoice de Blasio finally got here round to the thought, as New Yorkers turned to bikes en masse in the course of the early days of the COVID-19 disaster.

The bike increase has slowed considerably since, partly as a result of New Yorkers returning to the subways. The brand new Brooklyn Bridge lane has bucked these tendencies; over the past two months, crossings over the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges noticed their highest ever mixed ridership.

“It’s clear that the new bike path on the roadway is additive to East River bike trips,” mentioned Jon Orcutt, the director of advocacy at Bike New York. “People are responding to a dramatic change in cycling conditions.”

Research have proven that including bike lanes to European metropolis streets in the course of the pandemic induced massive and fast will increase within the variety of cyclists.

Whereas the Brooklyn Bridge undertaking was largely hailed as an enchancment, it additionally drawn criticism amongst cyclists, who argue that the town can be higher of constructing one-way lanes on both sides of the bridge, reasonably than squeezing a two-way path in a single automotive lane.

Uncooked knowledge from the DOT has backed up that worry: At peak occasions, near 500 individuals per hour are making use of the Brooklyn Bridge lane.

The throngs of recent cyclists have left some riders, together with Gothamist founder Jake Dobkin, each grateful and cautious.

“While I will miss the many games of chicken I played with spaced-out tourists and selfie takers up on the pedestrian path, the new bike lane is both safer, faster, and more fun to ride,” Dobkin mentioned, “with the only drawback being its popularity, which makes it hard to really bomb the downhills Brooklyn steez.”

(Ed be aware: when requested to clarify what ‘Brooklyn steez’ meant Dobkin responded, “If you need to ask, you’ll never understand.”)

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