Biking & Transit Soar In Washington, DC

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This article was originally published on Bikocity.

DC has been growing its bicycling bragging rights and swagger over the past few years. New commuting data just add to that. Bicycle commuting in the city more than doubled between 2000 and 2011.

Image: National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. (h/t Streetsblog)
Image: National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. (h/t Streetsblog)

Tanya Snyder of Streetsblog Capitol Hill writes:

In DC, cyclists now make up 3.5 percent of commuters, a big jump since the 1.2 percent mode share of 2000. The next-highest bike mode share is in Arlington, with 1.2 percent, frozen since 2007. Across the region, biking has a 0.7 percent mode share — an increase from 0.3 percent in 2000, but with such a low percentage, it’s hard to read much into the numbers.

Walking to work hasn’t grown the way biking has, but it enjoys a relatively stable 3.2 percent mode share regionally, with 11.5 percent within the city limits. Again, Arlington is the closest runner-up with 5.5 percent mode share.

Image: National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. (h/t Streetsblog)
Image: National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. (h/t Streetsblog)



Transit commuting was also way up (see chart above). It actually increased the most, from 11.8% mode share to 15.4%.

Working from home increased from 3.7% to 4.7%.

Carpooling decreased from 13% to 9.7%.

Driving alone dropped from 67.2% to 65.8%, a sobering look at how much room there still is for improvement.

Notably, however, the survey used for collecting this data is highly flawed. From Tanya:

All of these statistics suffer from the problematic phrasing of the Census and American Community Survey questionnaires, which ask how the person “usually” got to work the week before. If more than one mode of transportation was used, the person is directed to only report the one used for the greatest distance. Biking to transit, for example, only counts as transit in most cases. The same principle applies if someone bikes two out of five days per week.

Not ideal.

For more information and insightful commentary, check out Tanya’s full piece.


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Zachary Shahan

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