Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, October 03, 2011

National bicycle commuting statistics

The League of American Bicyclists has crunched the just released 2010 American Community Survey data (generated by the US Bureau of the Census), and analyzed commuting behavior.

- An Overview of Commuting from the U.S. Census Bureau (Not Just Bikes) (09.29.11)
- 2010 Bike Commuting Data Released (09.23.11)

The ACS doesn't ask questions for all trips, just about trips for commuting. And the way the questions are worded, you have to answer in terms of your primary mode, so that if you use a bike to get to transit and use transit to get to work, the answer should be "transit to work" not "bicycle to work."
Sustainable Transportation logos, webpage at the University of California, Irvine, rubik cube
The National Household Travel Survey, and comparable studies done at the level of metropolitan areas, attempts to get mode/travel data on all trips. The last survey was done in 2009; the 2014 survey has been cancelled.

-- Exploring Changing Travel Trends, 2009 NHTS, Steven E. Polzin, University of South Florida; and Nancy McGuckin, Consultant [it doesn't include data on biking]

Though bicycling to work was up among most major cities, the national average went down slightly from 0.55 percent to 0.53 percent.

Because the sample sizes aren't large for this section of the ACS, the data is subject to question, for example, while DC's ranking went up, Minneapolis' fell.

You could say this is because DC has a bigger bike sharing system. But likely the impact of bike sharing on DC's ranking is not reflected in the data, because the bike sharing system was not launched until late September 2010, and the ACS survey period was in the first and second quarter of the year. On the other hand, Minneapolis' bicycle sharing system was launched in early 2010, but probably the ACS data survey period was still too early to get much data from people who might be users of the system.

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