The thought of biking in New York City can be a harrowing one, conjuring up visions of endless congestion, reckless driving, and disgruntled taxi cab drivers. However, more and more New Yorkers are opting for riding over driving, and recent transportation developments have made it easier than ever to commute by bike.
Beginning with Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement of PlaNYC 2030 on Earth Day 2007, an ambitious environmental undertaking which calls for the creation of 1,800 miles of bike lanes, and continuing with the growth of cycling advocacy groups, there has been a borough-wide push for more parks, more bike lanes, and harsher penalties for traveling by car.
These organizations have compiled the most useful and up-to-date resources for cyclers, including maps, guides to cyclers’ rights, and where to find a bike if you don’t already have one.
Transportation Alternatives; transalt.org
Transportation Alternatives, better known among hard-core cyclers as the brains behind the epic NYC Century Bike Tour, is a well-known advocate for bicycling, walking, and public transit. The organization is involved in a host of advocacy campaigns to make NYC streets more biker and pedestrian-friendly, including plans for a car-free Central and Prospect Park. TransAlt has some of the best resources for cyclers, ranging from an extensive list of bicycle maps that cover New York’s urban and suburban areas to a discount bike shop directory.
New York City Department of Transportation; nyc.gov/dot
New York City’s Department of Transportation is a key player in expanding the bike network, and has undertaken such initiatives as installing outdoor bike parking and administering the Bikes in Buildings program to expand the availability of indoor bike parking. The DOT online offers bike routes, safety tips, and car-free greenways where you can enjoy a relaxed and leisurely bike ride.
NYC Bike Maps; nycbikemaps.com
NYC Bike Maps is a basic site that is all about the maps: NYC bike maps by borough, maps of cycling events such as the Five Boro Bike Tour and TransAlt’s Century Tour, mountain bike maps for trails in Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, and maps for rides in Westchester, NY. The site also offers the option of checking out where you’re riding with a Google Earth NYC Bike Map. NYC Bike Maps also features information on upcoming bike events.