Friday, April 10, 2015

Where's the bicycle count report? 4

Past NYC numbers

Reader Mark Kaepplein sends this in:

"NYC 2014 cycling stats also not out yet. Last year Streetsblog leaked them before they were released in June!"

Mark provided a link to yesterday's Streetsblog NYC story: It’s April. Where’s the NYC DOT Bike Count From Last Year?

Rob's comment:

From the Streetsblog story: "DOT has not responded to Streetsblog’s requests for the 2014 bike count, so for now, we’re in the dark."

Sounds like SFMTA, though I at least got a response from Paul Rose when I asked last week if the report---which I was told earlier would be released at the end of last month---would be released last week. His reply, "I do not believe so."

Seems like the NYDOT and the SFMTA have this in common: If the numbers aren't impressive enough for a trumpeted press release or a self-congratulatory press conference, they aren't eager to release the reports.

I just sent this message to Ed Reiskin. Maybe the boss knows:

Mr. Reiskin:

Mr. Rose won't tell me when the bicycle count report will be issued. Can you provide that information?

Rob Anderson

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At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any answer to your question from Reiskin?

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No. Evidently stonewalling about the report is the official MTA policy.

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot understand why Streetsblog is celebrating the removal of proposed safety legislation that would require bike riders to wear helmets in California? I am required to wear a seat belt when I drive, or during take off and landing on an airplane, and if I ride my motorcycle, I must wear a helmet, but why not for bikes? Why would a cycling advocacy group that is always screaming about the safety of cyclists be against wearing helmets?

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Because wearing a helmet implies--accurately---that riding a bike can be dangerous. The bike fanatics are now also debunking the helmet law for children. Even their children are an accessory to their risky hobby.

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons ranks cycling as the greatest threat to cause head injury to children, with football a distant second.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am required to wear a seat belt when I drive, or during take off and landing on an airplane, and if I ride my motorcycle, I must wear a helmet, but why not for bikes?

The lowest speed limit for motorists in California is 15 MPH. There are roads with 70 MPH speed limits. Cyclists for the most part rarely top 15 MPH.

The seat belt law was put in place because motorists for the most part were eschewing the use of this safety device - no matter the speed of the car. Prior to mandatory car seats, motorists were well known to allow their children to sleep in the back section of station wagons.

Cyclists are adopting helmet use voluntarily, and this use increases with the danger of the activity - racing cyclists always wear helmets. Transients riding in Civic Center at 3 MPH pretty much don't.

All a helmet law would do is give Greg Suhr's jackbooted thugs a pretext to pull over latinos and blacks for no reason.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, did you see Leah Shahum could not stay away for long, as she has just become head of the Vision Zero Network project. Is she against bike riders having helmets as well while she now heads a "network" to promote safety? You have to hand it to her, she sure knows how to turn bike advocacy into a profitable career. Has she ever had a real job?

At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. Being against a helmet law does not imply "cyclists should not wear helmets"

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2014 bicycle count for NY is out:

As you can see, the numbers are up from last year.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Thanks! Yes, the count is up by a not-so-impressive 740 more cyclists counted: 20,372 last year, and 21,112 this year. Looks like in New York, like Portland and San Francisco, cycling is leveling off. The link takes us to a chart with numbers going back to 1980, with an explanation of the color coding.

Now we are waiting for the San Francisco count report.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, just to clarify, this is a count of commuters at specific locations, not a count of all cyclists in New York City. Also, you'll notice that the number fell between 2010 and 2011, but then rose quite a bit in 2012. Saying that the cycling rates are "leveling off" based on two years of numbers is not a statistically valid statement. A more useful narrative is that rates of people riding bicycles remained low in the 1980's and 1990's, and have increased dramatically over the last decade.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, your clarification is a good point, one that I too have to make every year after the city's bicycle count report comes out.

Of course only numbers over the long haul will show for sure whether there's been any leveling off of cycling in New York. My assumption is that the whole bike trip is being way oversold, that it's a fad that's never going to take hold in the US like it has in Europe but, like tie-dye shirts, will be a permanent part of the culture.

By the way, San Francisco commissioned a poll four years ago to determine how people get around in San Francisco. The result: only 3.4% of all trips in the city are by bikes. The MTA and the Bicycle Coalition don't like that number, since it shows how insignificant the bike trip really is here in Progressive Land.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SF MTA will take their sweet time to give themselves enough time to manipulate the data to match their message. The main point is that msot bike lanes are empty most of the time.


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