Boulder is the second most bike-commuting city of its size in the U.S., according to the League of American Bicyclists third edition of “Where We Ride: An Analysis of Bicycling in American Cities.”
Nearly 9 percent of Boulder workers pedaled their way to work regularly in 2014, says the League. Berkeley, CA, with close to 10 percent of the population biking to work, edged Boulder out of first place by less than one percent.
The League’s analysis is based on 2014 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, when respondents ages 16 and older nationwide were asked what mode of transportation they used to “usually get to work.”
Fort Collins rounded out the top five, taking the No. 5 spot for highest percentage of bikers among cities with a population of 100,000-199,999. In a ranking of states, Colorado holds the No. 2 position with 1.3 percent of workers getting to their jobs by bike.
The report found that bike commuting is on the rise nationwide. From 2005-2014, states have seen a 46 percent increase, on average, in people pedaling to work. Colorado’s share of bike commuters increased 43 percent during that period. Other states have seen even greater growth in cycling, with West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee leading the pack with a more than 100 percent increase in bike commuter in those nine years.
In 2013, America Community Survey data showed just over 11 percent of Boulder workers biked to work. The 2014 American Community Survey data was re-released in May 2016. The 2015 data will be released in September.
Here are the top 10 ranking bike-commuting cities with populations from 100,000-200,000 from the League of American Bicyclists report:
- Berkeley, CA: 9.7%
- Boulder, CO: 8.9%
- Cambridge, MA: 7.4%
- Eugene, OR: 6.8%
- Fort Collins, CO: 6.2%
- Ann Arbor, MI: 5.0%
- Gainesville, FL: 4.4%
- College Station, TX: 3.7%
- Tempe, AZ: 3.7%
- Charleston, SC: 3.3%
In a separate analysis of the American Community Survey data over a five-year period, SaveOnEnergy.com found Boulder to be the No. 3 most bike-commuting city of its size. In the SaveOnEnergy.com report, cities were grouped by size according to the U.S. Census listing of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, resulting in Boulder being categorized as a ‘large’ city.
Citing more than 300 bikeways and the active biking community, the SaveOnEnergy.com report calls biking “a way of life in Boulder.”
Eugene, OR, and Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA, round out the top three in the large cities category, ranking No. 1 and 2, respectively, with 4.37 and 4.36 percent of the population choosing to bike to work. The top two cities inched past Boulder's 4.20 percent of bike commuters.
Among small cities, Steamboat Springs, CO, took the No. 2 spot. Usually touted for its skiing, Steamboat Springs now is also known for cycling and has been designated a Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
Boulder earned a Platinum-Level Bicycle Friendly Community award from the organization from 2008-2010 and 2012-2015 because of its multimodal corridors for pedestrian, bus, bike and auto connections.
The popularity of biking to work in Boulder will be evident on June 22 for the 2016 Bike to Work Day. Boulder citizens will pedal their way to work in droves that Wednesday if participation keeps pace with 2015. Last June, 5,456 people who live or work in Boulder registered for Bike to Work Day. An even greater number – 8,400 – are estimated to have ridden in Boulder that day, according to the Bike to Work Day Boulder’s website.
For the full report by the League of American Bicyclists, visit http://www.bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/Where_We_Ride_2014_data_web.pdf .
For the full SaveOnEnergy.com report, visit https://www.saveonenergy.com/data-hub/top-us-cities-biking/.
For the American Survey Census Data, visit http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk.
To register for Bike to Work Day and Month, visit http://biketoworkday.us/user/register.
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RE/MAX of Boulder