NYC DOT invites commuters to join the citywide Bike-to-Work Day tomorrow

DOT Bike to Work Day
Photo courtesy of the New York City Department of Transportation

The New York City Department of Transportation is inviting New Yorkers to ditch their rides and grab their bikes tomorrow, May 17, for a citywide Bike-to-Work Day. 

DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, who heads the citywide department, shared the invitation with city riders at the height of Bike Month. Earlier this month, various city-organized events, such as helmet distributions, group rides and additional educational activities, took place, with more expected to come in June. 

The benefits of participating in the cycling day are meant to promote healthy living practices and other accessible environmentally-friendly forms of transportation in the city, according to Rodriguez. 

“I hope more New Yorkers will continue to embrace cycling as a go-to way of getting around. It’s good for your health and the planet, and it gets you where you’re going faster,” Rodriguez said in the announcement on Wednesday. He also added that the city’s efforts to improve bike-friendly infrastructure are ongoing.

The League of American Bicyclists, a grassroots organization devoted to sharing the joys of bicycling, first established “Bike-to-Work Day” as part of its efforts to showcase the benefits of cycling and encourage more Americans to try cycling, as listed on the official website. The first National Bike-to-Work Day was held in 1956.

A multitude of upcoming bike-themed events from the DOT are listed on its website, which include giveaways for bike helmets, lights, children’s bike upgrades, educational programs, and free bike repairs. In Queens, there are five additional Bike Month events from this weekend until June. 

  • A Helmet Fitting and Distribution sponsored by Council Member Linda Lee on Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bellerose Playground (248-05 85th Ave.) in Jamaica.
  • A Get Pumped! Bike Repair and Bike Light Giveaway on Monday, May 20, from 4-7 p.m. along Queensboro Plaza North Bike Path in Queens. 
  • A Helmet Fitting and Distribution sponsored by Council Member Sandra Ung on Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kissena Park (164th Street and St. Litonia Avenue) in Flushing.
  • A Delivery Worker Seminar on Tuesday, June 4, from 4-7 p.m. at Queens Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, in Jamaica. 
  • A Bike the Block event on Saturday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rockaway Freeway (Beach 59th Street to Beach 54th Street) in Rockaway

Furthermore, the DOT plans to make the most of its network of 1,571 bike lanes, including its 689 protected bike lanes, which have paved a path for other city initiatives like Vision Zero. According to numbers shared by the agency, over 610,000 bike trips are taking place daily throughout the five boroughs. 

Bike the Block events organized by the DOT are open-street events focused on bicycle programs and education in neighborhoods that have historically seen underinvestments in transportation infrastructure, transportation authorities said. These events include free learn-to-ride and bike-handling skill classes with Bike New York. 

A NYC Bike Map, updated every year by the DOT, will also be updated with new ride paths through the Bike Month campaign, which provides city residents with a list of self-guided bike rides, the DOT shared. 

Additional Bike events taking place this month and well into June for Manhattan neighborhoods include a mix of bike-centric seminars. 

  • A Bike Bonanza, Sponsored by Council Member Gale Brewer, on Sunday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Sol Bloom Playground (West 91st Street and Columbus Avenue). 
  • A Bike Light Giveaway With Mt. Sinai Prevention Unit on Tuesday, May 21, from 4-7 p.m., at the 125th Street Greenway. 
  • A Helmet Fitting and Distribution sponsored by HHC/Bellevue/NYC DOT, on Friday, May 31, from 12-2 p.m., at 462 First Ave. 
  • A Delivery Worker Seminar on Wednesday, June 5, from 4-7 p.m., at West 178th Street and Wadsworth Avenue. 
  • A Delivery Worker Seminar sponsored by Council Member Carmen De La Rosa on Monday, June 10, from 4-7 p.m. 
  • A Helmet Fitting and Distribution sponsored by Council Member Diana Ayala on Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Thomas Jefferson Park (2180 1st Ave.)
  • A Delivery Worker Seminar on Monday, June 24, from 4-7 p.m. at East 116th Street and 3rd Avenue. 
  • A Bike Bonanza is sponsored by Council Member Carmen De La Rosa on Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jacob Javits Playground in Fort Tryon Park. 

The DOT says it has provided over 300,000 free bicycle helmets to New Yorkers since 2006 and partnered with organizations and council members, to host over 40 free helmet fittings and bike light giveaway events across the city in 2024. A list of bike events can be found at NYC DOT’s Bike Events page.