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Bike Commuting Grows by Leaps and Bounds

Reposted with permission from the League of American Bicyclists. 

The number of bicyclists is growing rapidly from coast to coast. The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the United States more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009.

Overall Growth of Bike CommutingThanks, in part, to encouragement efforts like Bike to Work Day, the number of bike commuters is on the rise, as well — especially in Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, from 2000 to 2011, the 39 Bicycle Friendly Communities among the 70 largest U.S. cities saw an 80 percent increase in bicycle commuting.

In contrast, the bike commuter rate in the 31 largest non-bicycle friendly cities grew only 32 percent, while the national average grew 47 percent. Download a PDF of the Growth of Bike Commuting infographic depicting the growth in bike commuting in a few key cities.

Bicycle commuting rates have skyrocketed by more than 400 percent since 1990 in some bicycle friendly cities, including cities as diverse as Portland, Ore., and Lexington, Ky.

Meanwhile, cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Denver have more than doubled their bike commuter share since 2000.

To find commuter data for your area, you can download 2010 bicycle commuting data (Excel spreadsheet) for all 375 cities included in the American Community Survey, and see the 2011 state commute rates (Excel spreadsheet) which include bicycle commuting by gender.

Illustration by League of American Bicyclists 

5/22/2013 5:32:41 PM

Does anyone believe this this isn't caused by the poor economy? College graduates can't find work that pays for a car -- so biking is "growing by leaps and bounds". 

I wish that the US, like Denmark, would make a commitment to improving the bike infrastructure. I was recently reading the Copenhagen - back in the early 60's - decided that biking would improve people's quality of life. So, even though they were a car-oriented city, they started making safe bicycle lanes and modifying their infrastructure to support bicycling. The article commented that "only daredevils" bike in the US, since you have to be a daredevil to compete with traffic and the poor biking infrastructure. (In contrast to Denmark, where women and children are a significant percentage of bicyclists.)

But first we have to take back our political system from the rich.