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A Celebration of People on Bicycles in New York City 6

A Celebration of People on Bicycles in New York City

While down in New York City last weekend I managed to take some video footage of everyday New Yorkers who choose bicycles as their mode of transportation. I put this short film together that celebrates these New Yorkers who are contributing to making New York a better place.

Although my hometown Toronto seems to have a higher concentration of everyday people on bicycles than what I saw in Manhattan, ridership in New York has nonetheless been steadily increasing since the city began investing in dedicating some space for people on bicycles under the leadership of Janette Sadik-Khan.

The streets of New York are the safest they have been in the last 100 years of recorded history.

The city has also found that safety increases on streets where bike lanes are added. More bike infrastructure means more bicyclists – and more bicyclists means more safety for everyone – including drivers.

Watch film directly on YouTube

The city’s infrastructure is still in its infancy and has a long way to go even just to improve its existing infrastructure. For instance, one of its main protected bike lanes goes right through the middle of Times Square – which results in awkward detours for bicyclists to avoid having to ride through thousands of pedestrians.

Having said that, the city has improved by leaps and bounds in the past 4 years to improve its liveability and in making it more comfortable and safe to use a bicycle.

I hope the city will continue down this path – despite the selfish opposition it faces from a minority of New Yorkers.

James D. Schwartz is the editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at

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6 thoughts on “A Celebration of People on Bicycles in New York City

  1. Joe Mar 22,2011 4:39 pm

    The world needs more people on bicycles! I wish my city (halifax) would do more to encourage biking and add more bike lanes etc… cheers!

  2. Paul Martin Mar 23,2011 7:45 pm

    Wonderful film, James. I particularly love the last shot of the father and daughter.

    If anyone feels anxious about watching them they need to ask themselves why. Anyone who thinks they know what is good for that child more than her father needs a little introspection.

    The only thing that is going to endanger those riders is a car driver – tame them and cycling becomes even safer than it already is. In some areas this can only be achieved with separation. In other areas, street calming can be enough and in others still, nothing need be done.

    Nothing is black & white, everything is a shade of grey.

    Thanks again for the great clip of New Yorkers enjoying their city!

  3. James D. Schwartz Mar 25,2011 2:58 am

    Thanks everyone. When the weather gets a little warmer I’ll introduce you all to all some Toronto-style bicyclists too.

    Agreed Paul, and in fact if we had more people who brought their children on their bicycles like that man, then drivers would certainly be more cautious than they are now.

    Though I have to admit I was shocked (and delighted) to see this guy with his daughter in New York City.

    I saw other chic cyclists while in New York, but didn’t always have the camera handy.

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  5. He who knows Jan 19,2014 2:08 pm

    When are people going to learn? Bicycles are ILLEGAL in New York City! ONLY rail and motor vehicles are allowed in New York City! Violators will EASILY face up to 5 years imprisonment! Somebody needs to put a stop to all of this cycling in New York City, before the city imposes Martial law!

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