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Published on July 5th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

12

Top 10 Bicycling Cities (Highest Bike Commute Rates)



 
I don’t think we’ve ever shared this list, and the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) just recently updated its page on these cities, adding a graph and some more info, so it seems like a good time to share it.

Before getting to the list, some important or interesting points to make:

  • Bicycle commute rates across the US, in general, increased 39% from 2000 to 2010.
  • Commuters who used the bicycle as their main mode of transport still represented just 0.5% of all commuters in the US.
  • Increases in bicycle commuter rates were biggest in the 38 largest “Bicycle-Friendly Communities” (BFC) — 77% growth — and in the 70 largest US cities — 63% growth. (See graph below.)
  • “A look at the country’s 70 largest cities shows that the communities that have done the most to promote bicycling through engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation — determined by the League’s Bicycle Friendly America program – have seen greater increases in bike commuting over the past decade than non-Bicycle Friendly Communities,” LAB writes.
  • “Since 2005, the 38 Bicycle Friendly Communities among the 70 largest cities saw a 95 percent average increase in bicycle commuting. In contrast, the 32 non-Bicycle Friendly Communities (among the largest 70) grew 46 percent. Since 2000, large Bicycle Friendly Communities grew 78 percent, compared to 55 percent for large non-BFCs.”

Now, the top cities!

  1. Davis, CA — 22.1%
  2. Boulder, CO — 9.9%
  3. Eugene, OR — 8.3%
  4. Berkeley, CA — 8.0%
  5. Cambridge, MA — 6.8%
  6. Santa Barbara, CA — 6.4%
  7. Madison, WI — 6.0%
  8. Gainesville, FL — 6.0%
  9. Portland, OR — 6.0%
  10. Iowa City, IA — 5.6%

And, if you happen to be curious about the top 10 large US cities, here they are:

  1. Portland, OR — 6.0%
  2. Seattle, WA — 3.6%
  3. San Francisco, CA — 3.5%
  4. Minneapolis, MN — 3.5%
  5. Washington, DC — 3.1%
  6. Tucson, AZ — 3.0%
  7. Sacramento, CA — 2.5%
  8. Denver, CO — 2.2%
  9. Tampa, FL — 1.9%
  10. Philadelphia, PA; Oakland, CA; New Orleans, LA — 1.8%

You can view more city-by-city details at those links above as well, like bicycle commuter growth rates, percentage of bicycle commuters who are male or female, absolute numbers of bike commuters, BFC statuses, and more.

Connect with me on Google+ or your favorite social networking site.

Source: LAB
Image Credit: Bikes Belong 

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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  • Zach S

    It’d be interesting to see where the top ten cities rank w/ college kids excluded. All but Portland and maybe Santa Barbara are college towns, which have unique commuting patterns.   College students are less likely to own cars and tend to have very short commutes compared to working adults.  This skews the statistics if the goal is to measure how many typical commuters, to the extent there is such a thing, ride bikes to work. 
    Larger cities are probably immune from this effect, but it would be nice to be able to compare smaller cities against each other on level ground.  Which most of those college towns have in abundance – but that’s a different story.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      yes, many factors, and college towns clearly dominate.

      have never seen anyone do as you propose. but would be interesting.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      btw, is your name really Zach S_________? or did you just copy my first name and initial of my last for some reason? seems like “Guest” would be better since it would avoid confusion, unless the answer is the former.

      • Zach S

        You should have noticed that this is my google account, Mr. Other Zach S.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Zach S – please post under another name.  

          I don’t think anyone has to explain why.

        • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

          Yes, I see that, but a ton of people post with a fake gmail acct. Checking the email acct doesn’t really help.

          No need to change, since we’ve got diff images and such… but just wanted to check…

        • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

          Though, to not confuse other readers, it might be nice if you spelled out your last name.

          But i understand that some people are very nervous about privacy for some reason, so it’s your call.

          • Zach S

            Like many thousands of other sites, this one uses the “Disqus” platform for commenting – after Facebook, it is likely the most popular multi-site commenting platform.

            Disqus keeps users logged in pretty much permanently, and you post on every website that uses Disqus with the same name.  In this case, it’s the one associated with my Google account.  I cannot change it.  I don’t mean anything personal.  

          • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

            No prob.

            Cheers.

  • Dirk Knapen

    A few years ago Copenhagen had 36 % bicycle commuters, 3 m wide traffic lanes and even a green wave with, if I recollect well, 13 synchronized traffic lights for cyclists.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      yes, sorry, just a US list. :D

      as far as big cities, haven’t been to Copenhagen, but have been to Amsterdam and it’s similar — amazing. also, lived in Groningen for ~5 months — 50-60% bike commute rate! (if i remember correctly) insane. and also tied for the nicest town i’ve ever been to. :D

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