Friday, July 4, 2008

Guardian reports on cycling in US cities

"Mayor Mike Bloomberg has been pushing to make it a better biking city after a 10-year study of cyclist fatalities found that all but one of the 225 bikers who had died between 1996 and 2005 weren't in bike lanes - and that 97% of those deaths involved riders who were not wearing protective headgear. The city promptly handed out 1000 free helmets, and then got to work implementing some long-term improvements. Since 2006, 110 miles of bike lanes have been added, and an additional 90 will be laid by next June. Between 2000 and 2006, the number of bike commuters increased by 100%, and the NY department of transportation is determined to double the count again by 2015. Of course, only 0.6% of all New Yorkers now bike to work.

Still, that's progress - especially in a city of its size. It's also about twice the national average. And, in the interest of encouraging cyclists and pedestrians, Bloomberg is conducting an experiment: During three Sundays this August, he'll ban cars from a seven-mile path that will run from Brooklyn Bridge through Central Park to the Upper East Side. "If it works, we'll certainly consider doing it again," he has said."



shishi said...

Only in the US does the excuse "I can't show up sweatie to work" is the number one reason people do not bike.

Michael said...

Shishi - yes! It's funny too. My friend Jason rides his bicycle to work every day and he works in the fashion industry and has to wear a suit. If he can do that in the New York summer... then what are the other people complaining about?