Best Places to Cycle in New York

More and more cities around the world are encouraging motorists to ditch the gas-guzzlers in favor of more eco-friendly transportation. A noble cause – especially when considering increasing gas prices, vehicle prices and a decrease in available parking. It appears the encouragement is working.

New York City, a major business capital, is also one of the busiest cities in North America. Photos, movies, and TV often show NYC streets packed with taxis and cars pressing through gridlocked conditions. Can’t you just hear the honking of horns and revving of engines? What if we were to replace those cars with bicycles? Would the noise level decrease? Would people get where they need to be with less rush and less chaos?

What factors influence New Yorkers’ decision whether or not to hang up the car keys?

Bike Parking Options

Riding a bike does not do much good if there is nowhere to park your bike. The US Department of Transportation helped fund a research project in NYC to identify how New York commuters would benefit from an increase of bike parking options, especially around subway stations. In the report, 239 transit stations within the five NYC boroughs were analyzed to determine the current state of bike parking, and appropriate suggestions made for improving and increasing bicycle parking.

Best Places to Cycle in New York

New York City’s “greenways” are paths or trails connecting parks and neighborhoods. They are designed for biking, walking, and skating. Greenways are the safest routes for New York City cyclists because they are specially marked for bike use. They also afford you a much better scenic view that makes for a unique New York City bike riding experience.

Bike Security

One reason more people don’t cycle in NYC is the fear their bike will be stolen. If you can’t handle that fact, you shouldn’t cycle in New York. However, there are things you can do to increase the chances that your bike will be awaiting your return.

When adequate bike parking options are not offered, riders will affix their bikes to fences, trees, signs, parking meters or any other fixture. Don’t do this! Bike parking stands are designed to provide you ample space to lock your bike in a safe and secure position. Locking the back wheel to the stand inside the rear triangle is good advice. Use a U-Lock for the frame and back it up with a cable lock around your wheels. Don’t forget to check that it IS locked.

This directory is maintained by Transportation Alternatives, a group dedicated to establishing a “biking code of conduct” for New Yorkers to enhance cycling in NYC for everyone. Educating cyclists is certainly a key component, but vehicle drivers and pedestrians play an important part in a safe cycling experience as well. The website has much to offer any New Yorker and is worth passing on to anyone who gets out and about in New York City.