No Parking Anytime: Aided by City Hall, Biking Revolution Taking Hold in NYC
City policies favoring cyclists are transforming how many New Yorkers move around town. NY1's Michael Scotto filed the following report, the final installment of his series, 'No Parking -- Anytime."
Anil Dash usually starts his day by hopping on a Citi Bike.
The tech entrepreneur cycles from the Lower East Side to his job in the Financial District. The bike route, he says, is more direct than any subway or bus line.
"Since the bike lanes were put in, it feels like bikes actually belong on the streets as opposed to being tolerated and not even tolerated," Dash said.
Dash is part of a biking revolution in the city.
Citi Bike usage surged to a record 14 million trips last year. The number of bike lanes is growing, too.
There are now 1,100 miles of bike lanes, 400 of them protected from traffic by curbs and barriers.
It's an effort that took hold under Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reduce congestion and improve the air.
"Streets didn't change for decades. And it was only under Bloomberg that we saw, I think, the potential of when streets are redesigned with walkers, bikers, bus riders in mind they can be much better," said Paul Steely White of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people biking to work has surged 115 percent since 2007 to 45,000 people a day.
And for people who still need a car, the city is hoping car-sharing services will convince them to ditch their personal automobiles.
Entrepreneur Harry Doull uses Car2Go to shave time off his commute in Brooklyn from his office in Sunset Park to his Bedford-Stuyvesant home.
"This is one of those services that's really helpful and saves us a lot of money and we can use the car whenever we need it but we dont' have to deal with it when we don't need it," Doull noted.
The city will test a car sharing program beginning in April, dedicating 300 on-street parking spaces and 300 more in garages for short-term rental cars in Manhattan.
Officials believe this is how millennials want to get around.
"When they want to take a trip they want to go in whatever mode makes sense. It could be Zipcar, it could be Citi Bike, it could be hopping on the subway, it could be Uber. Their transportation is in their phone basically and deciding which mode they want at the moment they need it," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
For Anil Dash, it's all about time. His Citi Bike commute typically takes 15 minutes, less than half the time of mass transit, and much more fun.
"It's kind of a little bit of that joy, riding a bike around the city," he said.
PICTURE OF THE DAY
Tune to Spectrum News NY1 on TV, online, on our app, or on Local On Demand Channel 1020 for:
• The New York Times Close Up, Sat. at 2pm and 10pm
VOTE FOR YOUR TOP STORY FOR "THE CALL" SHOW