Friday, January 25, 2008

In doing some background research I found a recent, May 2007, study done by DCP's department of transportation. You can download it here:

These are the key findings:

1. Most cyclists ride for recreation and exercise.
2. Commuter cyclists ride the most frequently.
3. The majority of respondents use the NYC Cycling Map (78%).
4. When riding on-street, the majority of riders prefer streets with bike lanes and
signs (93%).
5. The majority of cyclists prefer riding on off -street bike facilities to on-street (76%).
6. Cyclists categorized more bike lanes with buff ers and greenways as the most important
designs to be implemented.
7. The majority of cyclists want more on-street bike racks (95%).
8. Cyclists park and lock at sign posts 82% of the time and CityRacks 64%.
9. The most common reason that non-commuting cyclists do not commute by bike
is because of driver behavior/traffic and lack of safe storage at work.
10. The most common reason commuter cyclists do commute by bike is because it is
healthy/good exercise and because it is environmentally friendly.
11. Bicycle commuters have been commuting by bike on average for 5.7 years.
12. Commuters: 44% start in Manhattan and 41% start in Brooklyn.
Commuters: 81% end in Manhattan and 10% end in Brooklyn.
13. The highest number of commuter originations is in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn.
14. At the work place, 52% park their bikes outdoor and 48% park indoor.
15. Commuting cyclists most often encouter problems with vehicles not sharing the
roadway and vehicles parked in bike lanes.
16. The average commute time for cyclists is 35 minutes.
17. Distance between home and work, and having a longer commute by bike does not
keep non-commuting cyclists from commuting by bike.
18. Access to the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge are problematic.
19. The Manhattan side of the Queensboro Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge were also
cited for having access problems.
20. The majority of commuter cyclists ride round-trip 5 or more times per week (54%).
21. Twenty-nine percent of commuting cyclists connect to other modes of transportation
to reach their destination.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Solution

Is this the solution to the housing and transportation problems of our cities?

Draft Proposal

In a city that is dominated by the automobile I want to find out how its residents who use other modes of transportation actually view the built environment. In this project I would like to get the mental map that New York City bicycle commuters have of their city. While all forms of transit modes could be studied, I find that this small minority (1% of residents commute by bike) would make for a rich case study.

The method I plan on using will be modeled after Kevin Lynch's Imageability that he created when he did a study of Boston, Los Angeles, and Jersey City. He describes in his book, Image of The City, how residents have a mental image of their city. He describes this mental image or mapping as imageability. Lynch defines imageability as "that quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer. It is that shape, color, or arrangement which facilitates the making of vividly identified, powerfully structured, or highly useful mental images of the environment" (9). I would like to use this same method of having participants draw the route that they use daily. In addition, I will do a more thorough general survey to get background and supporting documentation to understand what are the issues, concerns, and problems that these daily commuters face.

This project will have qualitative and quantitative methods that will be used. The interview and mental map will be a qualitative approach and the imageability of the observers. The data from the written survey will be quantified to demonstrate what are the larger issues and concerns that these observers have with their built environment. While this approach might be less orthodox, I feel that both these methods, qualitative and quantitative, will be used in a complementary way.

Finally, while this is a grounded theory approach, I do not have a specific hypothesis, if my results are relevant and valid I would like to pursue getting this paper published.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I just finished the certification process for IRB. Now I get to start on the drafts and working on the application to submit to the Hunter College IRB board for expedited review.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Light rail in NYC???

Vision42 has been campaigning for this along 42nd Street for 20+ years. The video below shows how light rail, bus, and autos can all use a transit mall (from Portland). With an aging subway infrastructure and some of the slowest bus routes in the nation, would dedicated light rail routes be the next logical step for NYC? $3.6 million for the 2nd avenue subway would actually support the cost of installing light rail along 1st avenue (to 125th street) and back down 2nd avenue (to 42nd). Then could complete a two-way square around 34th to 42nd street. Is this the way the city should be thinking?

Certification process for IRB

So I am half way through the certification process (taking longer than I had thought). I hope to get that done soon and finally start working on my application.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Memorial Ride

This past Sunday was a memorial ride for pedestrians and cyclist killed in NYC in 2007.