By Micheline Maynard
Depending on your view of New York City, it’s a walker’s paradise, a traffic nightmare, or a place where it pays to ride the subway.
Now, the city has come out with its annual Sustainable Streets Index report, and the results show The Big Apple is mirroring the rest of the country in the way it gets around.
Since 2003, citywide transit ridership has grown 9.5 percent, while citywide traffic has declined 3.9 percent. Subway and bus ridership is growing, while driving remains essentially flat.
The changes are most noticeable in the Manhattan central business district, which is the area below 60th Street (the southern border of Central Park). Over the past 10 years, transit use here is up 11.3 percent, while car traffic has declined 6.5 percent.
Meanwhile, there was a 4 percent increase in cycling during 2012, before Citi Bikes arrived on the scene. There has been a 58 percent increase in year-around cycling since 2008, and an 86 percent increase in people cycling during the winter. (As a side note: New York City gets snowstorms, but not the hammering that cities like Chicago and Boston are accustomed to getting.)