New York City installs free bike pumps to accommodate city cyclist boom

More and more people are riding bikes in New York City. According to a report released earlier this summer by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), “In the last decade alone, annual bicycle trips rose 150 percent.”

That’s a lot of extra cyclists on the roads, especially when that same report found that less than 20 percent of New York City streets have bike lanes.

So the NYC DOT has committed itself to creating more bike lanes, better access to the biking network (i.e., growing bike-share programs) throughout underserved areas and finding new ways to improve bike safety in the city to reduce the number of cycling fatalities and accidents.

As part of a new pilot program aimed at making cycling a better option for commuting, the NYC DOT announced on Twitter on Tuesday that it was installing three free bike pumps in popular cycling areas.

One has been installed under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, one is off of the Williamsburg Bridge on the Manhattan side and, according to Gothamist, the third will be installed at the St. George Staten Island ferry terminal once construction work at the site is finished.

Air for bike tires can be a difficult thing to come by in a city that is experiencing a decline in its already limited amount of gas stations. Companies like the innovative Bikestock offer a free air pump at their vending machine locations throughout the city, but what happens if you have a tube blowout while riding nowhere near one of those spots?

While the DOT installing three bike pumps may seem innocuous, it is a big step in getting the city to better accommodate cyclists. According to a spokesperson for the DOT who spoke with Gothamist, “These specific locations were chosen because they were heavily trafficked and contained some shelter for the pump.”

The DOT will monitor a multitude of conditions that the pumps will have to withstand before placing any more pumps in other locations. It’s not a big step, but it’s an important one for cyclists in New York City.

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