NYC DOT’s “My Bike, My City” Campaign Encourages Women-Led Cycling

The campaign will target women, girls, transgender women, and gender-nonconforming bike riders utilizing NYC’s bike lanes. “Cycling is an excellent way to get around the city,” NYC DOT Commissioner Ydannis Rodriguez said.

| 02 May 2024 | 04:35

As part of its plan to get more New Yorkers cycling during “Bike Month,” NYC’s Department of Transportation has rolled out a public “My Bike, My City” campaign that is geared towards women and women-identifying people, which includes transgender women and gender-nonconforming individuals.

The campaign will feature advertising, cycling tips, educational events, and the suggestion of bike routes via a special “My Bike, My City” map.

”Cycling is an excellent way to get around the city. Everyone knows it’s good for the environment, people save money, and it’s good for the economy. It’s good for your health,” DOT Commissioner Ydannis Rodriguez said during a May 1 press conference on the campaign. It was a beautiful day to take a bike ride.

To nail the point home, Rodriguez also said that he’d studied data which demonstrated that “a person who rides a bike for half-an-hour every day adds six more years to their life.”

The commissioner also spoke of the need to spread an affection for cycling to working-class neighborhoods, many of which are seeing an uptick in bike lanes under his tenure: “It’s important that people don’t see bike lanes as gentrification.”

Last year, the agency laid down 32 miles of fresh bike lanes, which it has called a “record” that outpaces the efforts of other American cities. The agency also notes that there were 610,000 daily cycling trips last year, an all-time high, not to mention an 154 percent increase since 2009.

The new public campaign is part of Mayor Eric Adams’s “Women Forward NYC“ action plan. It will advertise everything from sturdier protective barriers on bike lanes to a data-driven “equity” approach, which will emphasize implementing lanes in underserved communities (such as working-class ones). In the process, the NYC DOT believes it will “inspire [bike] trips among women.”

Afrodesia McCannon, a medievalist and associate professor of liberal studies at NYU, spoke of how the public campaign would complement her Black Girls Do Bike initiative. Saying that she had convinced about “2,000 members” to go from biking 0 overall miles to a total of 30 miles, she expressed optimism that she could pump that number up to 100.

”We are very committed to getting as many women of color, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) folks, out on the streets to ride safely. We want them to feel comfortable, give them some fellowship. I hope you join us,” McCannon added.

Other stakeholders put out statements in support of the public campaign, including Angela Azzolino, the founder of the Get Women Cycling advocacy group. “I am thrilled to see NYC DOT’s commitment to promoting cycling among femme identifying and non-binary New Yorkers. This campaign sends a powerful message of inclusivity and accessibility, recognizing the diverse community of cyclists in our city,” she said.

Bike Month will feature a host of other events, of course. UES City Council Member Julie Menin will sponsor a “helmet fitting & distribution” event on May 11. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on E. 60th St.

Gale Brewer, the City Council rep for the UWS, will likewise sponsor a “Bike Bonanza” event during those same hours on May 19. It’ll be held at the Sol Bloom Playground, located at West 91st Street & Columbus Avenue.

If you’re too busy for Bike Month in May, there’s always Biketober in the fall.