Today is a very beautiful National Bike to Work Day here in New York City. Wiley Norvell, the communications director at Transportation Alternatives, which co-hosted nine pit stops throughout the city, interacting with about 10,000 riders, has sent us a few shots of the festivities. He suspects that today’s total number of cyclists will surpass the 2009 estimate of 201,000.
Frankly, we’re kinda jealous we didn’t get to partake of the bike-powered smoothie maker’s delights at Martha Stewart’s Whole Living pit stop on the Hudson River. (Count on Martha to have the best DIY grub.)
According to the NYC DOT, bike commuting has grown 26 percent between 2008 and 2009. NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, whose agency led an organized ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan to mark the event (and who rode herself), cites the more than 650 lane miles of routes on streets and in parks and increasing bike parking options as reasons for the increase.
Norvill reports of today, “It’s amazing how many people were riding for the first or second time. And how many workplaces had special events (unconnected with ours) to celebrate the day. I heard Columbia has been recognizing faculty who biked, and ING Café on Third Avenue has free coffee and pastries for bike commuters.”
If, like some of our friends, you’re still a wee bit scared to bike in traffic despite the enticements of free food, just imagine a future in which bikes really did rule the streets. Here’s a time-compressed video of people commuting to work on a typical day at 8:30 a.m. in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where a third of traffic is composed of cyclists. Impressive, no?
Just wear a helmet, like the little bird says.