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Ride the City - New York Statistics

This page presents information on bike routes generated by Ride the City users in New York. For more information, check out our blog post or the bottom of this page.

Where New York bicyclists start and end their routes

In order to preserve our users' anonymity, we grouped the origin and destination of all routes generated since April 2009 by Census block. For each Census block, there may be one of three shades of blue shown, ranging from dark blue (a block that a large number of cyclists chose as a start or end point) to light blue (a block that a moderate number of cyclists chose as a start or end point). Census blocks without any shading appear gray. Those Census blocks mark the origin or destination of only a handful of routes, if any.

About 800 Census blocks accounted for 45 percent of all the route origins and destinations, and 1,370 Census blocks accounted for another 40 percent of route origins and destinations. In other words, approximately 85 percent of all routes started or ended in just 7 percent of the Census blocks in New York -- primarily those in Manhattan and Brooklyn. This is distorted to some degree by some large Census blocks like Central Park, Prospect Park, Roosevelt Island, and much of the waterfront perimeter of the city. We're working on a version of this analysis that is adjusted by Census block area to better assess route origin and destination density.

Bike routes generated in New York since April 11, 2009, by origin/destination Census block


You can pan the map by dragging it around, double-clicking to zoom, etc.

What time of year do New Yorkers ride?

During 2010, the peak bicycling season was between April and September, with more than 8,000 routes generated every week during that period. During the week of May 30th, more than 12,000 bike routes were generated -- an average of more than 1,700 per day. Even in January and February, users generated more than 2,000 routes per week.

What days of the week do New Yorkers ride?

The distribution of bike routes generated by day of the week was fairly even in 2010, with slightly more routes generated on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

What time of day do New Yorkers ride?

In 2010, most New York bike routes were generated between 10am and 6pm, with an off-peak "shoulder" from 8-10am and 6pm-midnight. Few routes were generated between 1am and 7am. For a bike share system operator, this would be the ideal time to replace, repair and reset bicycles in the city that never sleeps.

How far do New Yorkers ride?

The median length of routes generated by Ride the City in New York is a little over 4 miles. About 57 percent of all routes generated were less than 5 miles. On average, routes generated by Ride the City might be somewhat longer than all bike trips since cyclists probably don't need route planning assistance for short trips around their neighborhood.

About the data and visualizations

The data used for the map and the distance histogram are based on 609,000 bike routes generated on Ride the City in New York since April 11, 2009. The data used for the weekly, day-of-week, and hourly column charts are based on bike routes generated since January 1, 2010 to avoid double-counting some weeks, days, and times.

If you work for a public agency, bicycle advocacy group, or academic institution and you'd like to use our data for planning and advocacy purposes, please get in touch with us at info@ridethecity.com.

We created the map using mapnik, polymaps, tilestache and cloudmade. We built the charts using protovis. Then we turned all the happy vectors into ho-hum rasters for our Internet Explorer friends who aren't yet on IE9.