New York City is making life easier for bikers and pedestrians.

StreetsBlog reports that bike commuting in New York City shot up 26 percent in 2009, according to data released by the Department of Transportation.  This increase marks the second straight year of cycling growth in the city – last year, it grew by 35 percent.

The new counts serve as evidence of the link between safer bikeways and increased cycling (and decreased dependence on other forms of transportation). New York’s bike network expanded significantly in the past 12 months, including protected paths on major streets like Broadway, Eighth Avenue, the Sands Street approach to the Manhattan Bridge and Allen Street.

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