Maspeth: New York City's Cycling Capital, 2021

I just discovered a cool feature that I didn't notice before on Mapnificent that allows you to calculate travel times depending on whether or not you have your bike.  I've always thought about what sort of long term effects prevalent bike usage would have on the geography of the city, and this tool allows you to get a visual idea of this.  So many areas are easier to get to if you don't have to worry about staying close to a subway line, and even more areas open up if you take your bike on the subway, which is how Mapnificent does its calculations

Check out what sort of difference having your bike makes if you're trying to get to Union Square in 30 minutes:

The odd spacing of subways in some areas of the outer boroughs creates some weird areas that are physically close to Manhattan, but are not subway adjacent and inconvenient to get to without a car.  While having a bike expands the range of where you're able to go on the margins, the most dramatic results are in these spaces where gaps in subway lines are filled.  Take a closer look at Queens:

The Astoria Waterfront and Maspeth are the two areas where having a bike would provide the greatest transportation improvement, and are two potential locations for outer borough bike commuter neighborhoods.  Red Hook is in the same position:

This sort of approach isn't perfect (for example, it assumes that if you live in Weehawken you can fly across the Hudson), but it gives a rough idea of what sort of changes one would expect once biking becomes a more established form of transportation.

Bike infrastructure development currently has been focused on already dense neighborhoods.  This has been a great way to allow biking to gain a foothold in the city, but the next step should be to become more forward looking, and develop infrastructure in areas with the most potential to become bicycle dependent in the future.

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