April 22, 2014
5 Old-Is-New Facts About Biking and Walking
The Alliance for Biking and Walking has released its 2014 Benchmarking report, which looks at bicycling and walking as transportation in the U.S. Here are a few highlights from the report.
1) Biking and Walking to Work Is On the Rise. (A slow, slight rise)
It’s hard to truly document how many people bike and walk to work because the only nationwide data we have is from the Census figures taken in the American Community Survey. That survey only asks about trips to work in a one-week period, and so cuts out many of the casual and fairweather commuters out there. In large cities, an average of 5.0% of people commute to work walking or biking – that’s compared to 4.5% in 2005 – 2006.
2) Safety in Numbers. (A lovely correlation)
The more people there are biking and walking, the fewer fatal accidents there are. This makes sense: drivers, especially in cities, are more likely to look out for bikers and walkers if they are used to seeing people on the streets doing these things.
3) Bike & Walk = Better City Health (the big duh)
Lots of stats show that car culture isn’t very healthy for us!
4) The South Is Losing Out (on biking and walking benefits)
The largest percentages of biking and walking commuters are in Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New York, and Vermont. The lowest percentages of biking and walking commuters are in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
5) The Funding Isn’t Fair (looking at the numbers)
Looking at the data, altogether 11.4% of trips taken in the U.S. are by bike or walking; 14.9% of fatalities are pedestrians or bicyclists. Yet only 2.1% of federal transportation funding goes to biking and walking projects.
Find more fun and not-so-fun cycling and walking facts from the report here.