New York City becoming more bicycle friendly

New York city is getting more bicycling-friendly. The League of American Bicyclists awarded the Big Apple a bronze medal for "bike friendliness" according to the Associated Press.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been promoting cycling as a way toward a cleaner environment and healthier citizens. One project has the city installing hundreds of bike racks each year and 400 miles of bike lanes and paths by 2009.

But more outdoor parking does not address riders' concerns about theft, so Bloomberg is also supporting legislation to require commercial buildings to provide bike parking. In addition, the city is backing road safety initiatives to educate motorists and cyclists.

From a recent study, Transportation Alternatives estimated 130,000 riders daily throughout the city's five boroughs. Given the gridlock of Manhattan traffic, that number is only likely to increase.

"It's the fastest mode of transportation," said Sarinya Srisakul, vice president of the New York Bike Messenger Association to the Associated Press. Srisakul gave an example of how a bike can cover 10 midtown blocks in five minutes while a car might take half an hour.

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