Citi Bike fights to follow New Yorkers’ love of cycling

And, she added, if she says anything to reckless cyclists, including some who ignore red lights or ride on sidewalks, the responses are not kind. “‘It’s your fault’ or ‘Sorry, grandma’ or they are just insulting me,” Ms. Huacuja said.

Still, it seems clear that New York will emerge from the pandemic as a city where the bicycle has become a vital source of transportation, a development that advocates say must be encouraged to tackle climate change by preventing more cars from circulating. .

The city already has approximately 1,400 miles of cycle paths, making it the largest urban network in the country. Of that total, approximately 569 miles are protected lanes, with barriers that physically separate cyclists from vehicles. This year, the city announced plans to add an additional 55 miles of cycle lanes, 30 of which would be protected lanes.

But advocates say the city needs to act faster to find ways to make streets safer in a year when road deaths have risen dramatically.

“In the midst of New York’s cycling boom, we are still traveling from vigil to vigil instead of innovating to revolutionary,” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group. “Our leaders must immediately build connected and protected cycling infrastructure and reimagine our streets as a recovery route.”

Eric Adams, a Democrat who will become mayor in January, has pledged to promote cycling and build 300 miles of protected bike lanes in four years. Mr Adams, an avid cyclist who used Citi Bike to travel to a press conference during the election campaign, suggested introducing other bike-sharing companies in places Citi Bike does not serve.

Citi Bike officials say they are pushing to make the program more robust and expand its reach.

“A majority of New Yorkers agree to prioritize this use of curb space,” Laura Fox, general manager of Citi Bike, said in an email. The challenge, she said, has come from “a few voices” with competing interests, such as preserving parking spaces, which pose a threat to the success of the program.