We're number one! We're number one! We're number one? New York City now tops the list of the best biking cities in the U.S., according to Bicycle Magazine's biennial bike commuter ranking list, but are we really that "great" for cyclists? Like, in real life? Because if you have ever cycled in NYC, you know how cray cray it can get. Here's the thing: thanks to efforts to make our streets more bike friendly over the last six years, we actually are kind of awesome for bicyclists now, even if it may not seem that way for us everyday-bike-commuters.
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So why are we so good for cyclists? Surely things like New York's newly adopted Citi Bike program help bicyclists get around. However, believe it or not, former Mayor Bloomberg had a lot to do with our recent jump to first place, with his plan that implemented 350 miles of new bike lanes, most of which include concrete barriers to protect cyclists. According to Bicycle Magazine, Bloomberg's efforts doubled our number of NYC bike commuters between 2008 and 2012.
As long as you're not riding in Suffolk County, where 24% of New York state's bicycle related fatalities take place (despite the fact that the Long Island suburb only accounts for .2% of the state's cyclists), then you can be comforted by the fact that we're definitely safer for cyclists than we were six years ago. We're followed by Chicago and Minneapolis, but as they're not as cool as we are, we'll just get back to talking about us. In spite of all this hoo-ha about our bike-friendliness, be sure to keep it safe on your two-wheeler 'cause even if we are best for biking, cyclist-vehicle tension is still a part of our NYC culture.