More than three months into 2016, DOT has yet to release last year’s screenline bike count, which shows how cycling in the city center has changed over time.
It’s called the screenline count because it measures the number of cyclists who cross key points around the central business district: the East River bridges, on the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street, and the Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal.
Up until a few years ago, DOT released the bike count in the same year the data was collected, sometimes as early as October. The 2012 count was the first to include winter cycling numbers, and was not released until the following March. Then the 2013 numbers weren’t released until Streetsblog posted an unauthorized copy in July 2014. Last year, DOT released the 2014 count around exactly this time (after a nudge from Streetsblog).
We asked DOT for the 2015 count in January, and the agency said it expected to post the numbers “before Spring 2016.” In response to a follow-up query earlier this month, DOT said the numbers would be released “later this spring.”
With stats going back a few decades, the screenline count provides an excellent trendline of bicycling in the city center. It would be great to see DOT add more metrics to track changes in cycling farther from the Manhattan core. But failing that, just releasing this key indicator on a timely schedule again would be a welcome change.