Across the five boroughs, there are nearly 900,000 New Yorkers who ride a bicycle regularly, and the number is likely to keep increasing. With climate change, MTA issues, and the cost of living all taking a toll, more people than ever are getting around on their own two wheels. In fact, NYC had about 500 miles of bike lanes in 2006. In 2021, that number was at 1,456, with another 500 miles planned.
Despite cycling’s growing popularity in the city, it’s not easy to find bike information, like what streets have bike lanes, where you can lock up your bike, and more. That’s why Todd Lee-Millstein created NYCBikeMap on a .nyc domain.
“Built from the ground up to serve the needs of New Yorkers, NYCBikeMap has more up-to-date data than any other bike map platform currently available,” he said.
The no-frills website is a free, interactive bike network map for the city. It combines information from NYC OpenData, Citi Bike, and other sources to create one of the most comprehensive bike maps for the city. Routes feature bike lane networks, bike racks, bike shelters, Citi Bike docks, bike tips and hazards, and more.
“We're committed to making biking safer, more accessible, and better for all New Yorkers,” said Lee-Millstein. And because NYCBikeMap is open source, anyone who wants to contribute to it can do so.
A resource for the greatest city in the world needs to stand out from other brands, while holding on to the essence of where it’s from. It’s one of the reasons that Lee-Millstein chose a .nyc domain name instead of the traditional .com.
“We wanted to set ourselves apart from more nationally recognized brands, like Google Maps and Apple Maps, by emphasizing our commitment to New Yorkers in our product name and domain.”
When Lee-Millstein was deciding on a web address, it didn’t go unnoticed that the .nyc domain is only available to people and businesses who are actually in the city.
“I also think the fact that only New Yorkers can register a .nyc domain signals to people that your website was actually made by a New Yorker,” explained Lee-Millstein. That helps build trust between the website and its users—this isn’t a big corporation creating a platform, but every day New Yorkers. That doesn’t mean that Lee-Millstein isn’t confident that NYC Bike Map will keep growing and serving its users.
“As biking continues to become more popular every year, we want our brand to become known by all New Yorkers who bike as a kind of hyperlocal tech product,” he said. “I'm just a NYC student and NYCBikeMap is not exactly a traditional ‘business, but I am really committed to all of our users and building up the product over the next few months.”
New Yorkers helping New Yorkers? We love to see it.