May is Bike Month, Let's Celebrate the State of Bicycling in New York
May is Bike Month, this is Bike To Work Week, and Friday is Bike To Work Day. They all exist, in large part, to encourage us to take stock of the role of bicycles in our lives and the lives of our communities.
New York Bicycling Coalition is thrilled to see that bicycling is on the rise in our state, and that more New Yorkers are realizing the tangible benefits of bicycling for transportation, recreation and health.
We’re committed to making our state more bicycle-friendly by cultivating and supporting education, enforcement and engineering strategies to improve safety and access for all New York State residents who ride bicycles — and those who want to ride bicycles but do not feel safe doing so quite yet.
Of course we will never stop working to get more people riding, more awareness of the rights and responsibilities of all road users, more progress on building bicycle infrastructure, and better integration of cycling with transit and passenger rail systems. But we have reasons to be encouraged.
Just last week we learned about New York’s rise from 43rd to 29th place in the country in terms of bike friendliness in 2014. A big jump to be sure, but merely a temporary point on the ride to the top.
And there is one critical point to make: Our progress as a bike friendly state is, in the final analysis, the result of the efforts of individuals, of clubs and organizations, of bike shops and other businesses , and of our governmental officials at all levels. Adapting an old saying, it’s happening where the rubber meets the road: locally. And it happens incrementally – every ride to the library, to the park, to school, or to the bus stop is a piece of the overall progress we see.
The New York Bicycling Coalition is a statewide advocacy organization, devoted to helping to make this all happen.
Our message for Bike Month? Get involved. Get your bike out, or buy a new one. Start a daily riding program. Take your bike on short trips and leave the car in the driveway. Get your friends to join you, and tell your government representatives that you want the public amenities that are needed to make bicycling safer and more convenient.
And, very importantly, look around and learn more about the clubs, organizations, citizen groups, shops, and governmental organizations that are working daily on all these issues. Support them, publicize them, and join them.
Then, after a while, take a moment to reassess your community with a higher level of bicycling activity …. and discover how much nicer a place it is to live, work and ride.