Good News: Bike use soars in US cities, increases 97% in NYC 

It's great that bike commuting has nearly doubled in New York City, but please remember to wear a helmet. Credit: Kevin Hagen, NYT

By Sophie Roback, Alliance Intern from Colorado College ’24

Bike trips have rapidly increased in the US since the pandemic, according to a new study reported by Bloomberg. NYC had the greatest growth in bike trips from 2019 to 2022 with a 97% increase, as many commuters shifted from subway to cycling. San Diego had the second greatest increase at 71% after public officials responded to a growth in bike sales during the pandemic with the installation of new bike lanes. 

This is great news, as the US is not known for being a bike friendly country. A survey completed in the 50 biggest US cities found that 50% of people reported being “too afraid to bike on the street,” according to National Geographic. The creation of quality bike networks is crucial to the future of biking in the US. 

Safe bike networks can help us reverse the trend that only 1% of all trips in the US are by bike, while 87% are by car. This is supported by the report’s finding that “metros with the highest growth generally have better infrastructure for cycling… than those with car-centric layouts.”  

The growth of cycling started to flatten out in 2022 following a tremendous leap in 2020 and 2021 as average daily bicycle trips increased by 37% nationally. The recent flatlining “is a warning that continued investment in safety-focused active transportation infrastructure…will be critical to re-animating growth.” 

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