British Cycling today brought together two cities from either side of the Atlantic to discuss how to transform cycling and get masses of people on bikes.
New York City’s rapid installation of several hundred miles of bikes lanes (as illustrated above) has led to a two-fold increase in bike use in the city over the last five years and demand is still growing. The city’s bike hire scheme – Citibike – saw five million rides take place in the first five months.
"New York City took the decision to prioritise cycling five years ago and the results are plain to see."
British Cycling Policy Adviser Chris Boardman
New York City’s transport policy director, John Orcott, gave a talk about building a city-wide cycling network while his colleague, Kate Fillin-Yeh – director of Citibike – explained why the hire scheme has become so popular.
"Cities around the world are meeting public demand for better places to bicycle by learning, borrowing and adapting each other's successes. That's why exchanges like today's are hugely valuable." said Jon Orcutt of the NYC Department of Transportation.
"CitiBike is so successful today in part because it drew on the best features of Velib, Boris Bikes and other systems," said NYC's Kate Fillin-Yeh. "Now CitiBike stands as the latest example for others to study."
Meanwhile, transport experts from Manchester unveiled their plans to inspire 10% of people to travel by bike across Greater Manchester by 2025.
Velocity 2025 – a 12 year cycling strategy – received £20million government funding in August, and includes plans to build a 57km network of seven cycle highways stretching out from the city to the region’s main suburbs.
Dave Newton, a director at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), spoke alongside Dave Whyte, the city council’s cycling policy lead, about Manchester’s plans to deliver dedicated and protected cycling infrastructure to link people from their homes to jobs, leisure and education opportunities.
Above: On track: Representatives from TfGM and British Cycling meet New York City's cycling experts.
British Cycling outlined to both cities how it has inspired one million people to cycle more regularly since 2009 through its Sky Ride participation programme. British Cycling’s Policy Adviser, Chris Boardman, used the session to outline the sports governing bodies’ work to make the roads safer for all cyclists.
British Cycling’s Policy Adviser, Chris Boardman, said:
“New York City took the decision to prioritise cycling five years ago and the results are plain to see. Thanks to big ambitions, political leadership and investment, the city has doubled bike use and plans to triple it within the next four years. There is a lot that cities like Manchester and London can learn from New York – that’s why it is crucial that we listen with open ears about the possibilities for how we can transform Britain into a cycling nation.”
TfGM’s Nick Vaughan, who also attended today’s event, said:
“Through our Vélocity 2025 plans we aim to boost the number of cyclists in Greater Manchester by 300 per cent over the next 12 years. We’re the home of British Cycling and we want to learn from and repeat the success of cycling cities across the globe so I look forward to learning from New York City’s experience.”