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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oregon: Portland top city for bike commuting

From the Oregonian (Portland, OR), 06.14.07:

Portland ranks first in nation for biking to work

A larger share of Portlanders commute by bicycle than in any other large city in America, eight times the national average, according to the director of the U.S. Census Bureau, who took note of the statistic during a presentation Wednesday at City Hall.

The city's love affair with bikes is not new, but it's nice to be noticed by the nation's top people counter. "It's like a Swiss city, clean, with trains and bikes everywhere," said Louis Kincannon.

The survey found that 3.5 percent of Portland workers commuted by bike in 2005. Ranking second was Minneapolis at 2.4 percent, then Seattle, at 2.3 percent. The national average for cities with more than 65,000 population was 0.4 percent.

"It's not surprising" that Portland ranked No. 1 in bike commuting, said Scott Bricker, policy director for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Portland has been ranked the nation's top cycling city in national cycling magazines in recent years.

Bricker said Portland has been working to improve cycling in the city for the past 10 or 15 years, and it has really paid off in the past two or three years. "This isn't peaking," he added. (Read more.)
Congrats to Portland for this progress. The article also quotes Jonathan Maus of

Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Census, bicycling has apparently stagnated in San Francisco, remaining at two percent. Census figures consistently undercount bicyclists; for example counting multimodal (bike/transit) as one "journey to work" mode, typically the longer mode, and ignores non-work trips. But it undercounts in every city, not just the city by the Bay.

In any event, Portland is clearly on the ascendant for bicycling, while business leaders in San Francisco try to increase parking for cars. San Francisco's mayor's office is sorely lacking in vision.

Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What surprised me about the bike commuting figures was that the top two cities - SF and Portland - are hilly, and the third - Minneapolis - has "bad" winters. Why do these cities do so well versus, say, Denver which has generally good weather and easy terrain? Is it city support? (When I spend a month in SF with my bike, the infrastructure seemed much "friendlier" than Denver.) Is it local advocacy? Or is something else entirely or city-specific things.