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The Bike Boom Is Happening in Cities Making a Push to Improve Cycling

10:57 AM CDT on May 17, 2013

It's bike to work day, America! Hope you had a lovely commute today. This will probably come as no surprise, but if you biked to work this morning and you live in a city that's making an effort to improve conditions for cycling, odds are you had a lot more company on the streets this morning than you did a few years ago.

The League of American Bicyclists reports today that the cities seeing the biggest jump in bike commuting are, by and large, also the cities that have been recognized by the League as "bike-friendly" for their efforts to make biking safer and more convenient.

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The Bike League's Carolyn Szczepanski writes:

From 2000 to 2011, the bicycle commuting rate has risen 80% in the largest Bicycle Friendly Communities — far above the average growth of 47% nationwide and more than double the rate of 32% in the cities not designated as bicycle-friendly.

In some Bicycle Friendly Communities, bicycle commuting rates have skyrocketed by more than 400% since 1990, including cities as diverse as Portland, Ore., and Lexington, Ky. Meanwhile, cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Denver have more than doubled their bike commuter share since 2000.

Take it from League President, Andy Clarke: “I see the dramatic increase in ridership on my own daily bike commute, and it’s definitely more pronounced in those communities — like Arlington County and the District of Columbia — that are proactively improving conditions for bicycling and following the Bicycle Friendly Community blueprint.”

Elsewhere on the Network today: People for Bikes files a dispatch from a gathering in Austin, Texas, exploring how bike infrastructure can benefit city residents equitably.

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