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(LISTEN) Sandy Caused a Mini Bike Boom in NYC

Monday, November 05, 2012 - 06:02 PM

Bicycle Habitat in SoHo did brisk business during the aftermath of Sandy, even without electricity. (Photo by Alex Goldmark)

When Sandy's storm surge flooded New York's subway and split the city into its island parts, normal commutes were washed away. City-mandated restrictions prevented cars with fewer than three people from entering Manhattan to try to limit vehicle traffic. So New Yorkers took to new modes to get around. HopStop, the transit trip planning website, reported a 1,300 percent spike in searches for bus travel in NYC and an 800 percent jump in non-train searches compared to the previous week.

And then there were bikes.

On Thursday, the NYC DOT counted 30,000 cyclists riding across the East River bridges, more than double the normal 13,000.  Though there's no official count for within Manhattan while the power was still out downtown and subways were halted, this audio postcard of a ride around town shows how Sandy created a mini-bike boom -- and a pop-up culture of cycling harmony.

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Comments [2]

Albert

Wow, I was constantly listening to WNYC all week for one, just one, piece encouraging cycling (even just mentioning it!) as a way to work around the Sandy-caused lack of transportation, and I didn't hear a single one. How did I miss this excellent and useful piece?

I wonder how many times it was repeated (estimate: not once), compared to the endless loop of articles bemoaning "gas shortages," "long lines at gas stations" and "HOV rules -- poor us!" without a single mention of either walking or cycling? (That includes you, Transportation Nation.)

Nov. 07 2012 10:05 AM
Nora Shepard

I think it would be great if the Holland Tunnel remained closed to Single Occupancy Vehicles. If only car poolers and buses are allowed, the buses would be more efficient and it would encourage carpooling.

Nov. 06 2012 12:51 PM

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