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New York to install free bike pumps for booming cycling population

It's a far cry from the actions of a London council earlier this summer...

New York City is dealing with a huge influx of cyclists by installing public bike pumps in popular areas.

According to a report released earlier this summer by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), “In the last decade alone, annual bicycle trips rose 150 percent.”

In reponse to this, the ministry has committed to new bike lanes, bike share schemes, and more safety measures.

It also announced on Twitter that it was installing three free bike pumps, under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, off of the Williamsburg Bridge on the Manhattan side and at the St. George Staten Island ferry terminal once construction work at the site is finished.

A spokesperson for the DOT told Gothamist, “These specific locations were chosen because they were heavily trafficked and contained some shelter for the pump.”

It’s in line with other cities that are taking measures to keep cyclists on the road.

In Toronto one councillor is pushing to add do-it-yourself bicycle repair stations to parks.

Mary-Margaret McMahon told Metronews: "One of my team members had a flat the other night, and no one was around to help.

"If we are trying to promote cycling culture, we are going to need more of these kinds of initiatives in our city.”

These are already in action in Minneapolis.

"They are not labour-intensive to install, and they're not going to be unaffordable. I think it's a quick easy win," she said.

However as we reported this summer, back in the UK, a London council fined a bike shop for placing a track pump on the pavement outside to enable cyclists to fill their tyres with air.

Officials from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets fined Shoreditch bike shop Isambard’s Cycles £100 for placing a bench outside the shop with the pump attached.

The shop’s owners, Sarah Breese and Timothy James, removed the bench but left the pump there, prompting a return visit from a council enforcement officer who threatened them with a further fine unless they took it away or obtained a licence.

Ms Breese said: “The council’s attitude to small business is that of a feudal lord to a tenant farmer. This fine is the tip of the iceberg but totally in keeping with their broader approach.

“We’re a community bike shop. We keep bikes on the road affordably for thousands of local residents. We try to price people into cycling.

“It’s increasingly difficult for us to survive with the council behaving in this way though.

“Yesterday, the same enforcement officer who fined us the first time was taking pictures of our shop and when we asked what he was doing he said we needed to obtain a licence to be able to have the pump there, otherwise we would be fined.

 “We’re still not sure what the issue with the bench is either - the pavement is wide, it's a corner shop and that road is very quiet. The bench gives us no commercial gain,” she added.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on

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