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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Cycling surge here to stay in many cities, report suggests

Diving Summary:

  • U.S. bicycle activity increased by 10% in the summer of 2021 compared to 2019 and was almost flat compared to the summer of 2020, according to Report this month from Streetlight Data. The report relies on data from Streetlight’s InSight Multimode Metrics, which documents and analyzes the number of passengers in various modes of transportation.
  • The increase in cycling has been a nationwide trend, but some cities have shown larger increases than others. Atlanta and Las Vegas, for example, saw bicycle traffic increase 25% in 2021 compared to 2019 despite showing moderate gains in 2020, while the medium-sized cities in Birmingham, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; And Little Rock, Arkansas, all had profits of 50% or more.
  • Between 2020 and 2021, some West Coast and Midwest cities actually saw a decrease in cycling activity and in some large cities there was even a decrease compared to 2019. Still, Streetlight Data called the findings “good news for cycling overall” and evidence for the new infrastructure role Fills in promotion of cycling.

Diving insight:

During the initial summer of the COVID-19 epidemic, Cycling broke out As more people took advantage of the reduced traffic and open street plans. While some experts have asked if the rise was haphazard, the Streetlight Data report shows that cyclists seem to be here to stay – if cities can support it.

“The demand for bicycles in our world is on short trips,” said Martin Morzhinsky, vice president of marketing for StreetLight Data. “If you can identify neighborhoods where people go on short car rides, there is an opportunity to increase cycling with more infrastructure and support. Either people are already on bikes or you have an opportunity to create a cycling culture.”

There was not a single story across the country, Mozinski said, but there was a clear correlation between infrastructure like protected bike lanes or open streets and bike traffic. For example, he said, in Des Moines, Iowa, its bicycle traffic increased by 49% in 2020 and it still increased by 30% in 2021 compared to 2019, even when people return to work. This, he says, is due in part to the existing trail network in the city leading to the city center that makes it easier for new riders to get around.

Ironically, cities with a more established bicycle culture and stronger infrastructure actually lowered the national average during the plague, with 19 cities including Boston, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago showing declines. This is because there were fewer regular cyclists on the roads.

Nashville, Tennessee, and its metro area saw a 45% jump from before the epidemic, and the transition from the 81st most active metro to cycling in 2020 to 16 in the latest report. Lindsay Genson, Director of Public Relations and Communications for Walk Bike Nashville, Said that the increase was despite the lack of continuous investment in strong bicycle infrastructure. The information group collaborated with Streetlight Data in 2020 to collect data on traffic volumes and speeds in order to support safer infrastructure and traffic calming indices. Investments in tools like protected bike paths and better crossings, Genson said, could make riding and walking “low-voltage” and lead to an even greater increase in the number of riders.

“I don’t think we’ve even seen the beginning of how much of a bike town Nashville can become,” Genson said. “If we match the demand to a real infrastructure, who knows what our numbers might be.”

Cities have used the plague-reduced traffic to boost their bicycle infrastructure. New York City, for example, planned to add an appreciation 30 miles of bike trails This year, including a new lane on the Brooklyn Bridge. Chicago plans to add 100 miles of new bike paths By the end of 2022. San Francisco Complete a network of protected bike paths In its southern market neighborhood, which includes stadiums, museums and office space.

“When people have a safe way to ride a bike to work, they are more likely to do so, and with Moni [public transit] Service is still affected, it’s another way besides driving that people can commute to work, “wrote the mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, earlier this year.

God Infrastructure account in the amount of $ 1.2 Signed by President Joe Biden this month including 60% increase in Federal funding for transportation alternatives, a language to encourage full street policy and a climate-friendly language that proponents say will promote bicycle infrastructure. In addition, e $ 1.75 trillion Build Back Better budget resolution Transferred by the House will fund $ 4 billion in grants for more equitable transportation infrastructure, $ 4 billion per state Greenhouse gas performance measures and will return a tax benefit to people who ride bicycles.

This funding, coupled with a systemic approach to transportation planning, could help more cities find the best ways to encourage cycling and sustain epidemic trends, Mozinski said.

“We believe a comprehensive approach that allows you to identify where it is best to invest and set priorities sets you up to respond to change when traffic patterns change again,” he said. “There is no single pattern. Our country is really huge and broad when it comes to habits and weather and infrastructure, but we do see that the cities that invest in infrastructure, on the whole, see success.”

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