More Than 1 in 10 Workers Commute By Bike in Some D.C. Neighborhoods

Bike share commuting rates in central DC. Map: DDOT
Bike commuting rates in central DC. Map: DDOT

Imagine 20 percent of commuters getting to work by bike in a major U.S. city. No entire city is close yet (Portland, with the highest rate, is at about 6 percent), but some neighborhoods are getting there.

Dan Malouff at Beyond DC shares new data from DDOT showing that in a few areas of Washington, the bike commute mode share is especially impressive. The numbers for specific Census block groups should be taken with a grain of salt because the margin of error is high. But it’s safe to say that more than 1 in 10 workers commute by bike in some parts of DC.

Malouff writes:

This fascinating map is part of the background data DDOT is preparing to study a possible protected bikeway on or around 6th Street NW.

It shows how hugely popular bicycling can be as a mode of transportation, even in the United States. What’s more, this data actually undercounts bicycle commuters by quite a lot.

It’s originally from the US Census’ American Community Survey, which only counts the mode someone uses for the longest segment of their commute. People who bicycle a short distance to reach a Metro station, then ride Metro for the rest of their commute, count as transit riders rather than bicyclists.

Keep in mind that DC has made rapid progress on bike infrastructure for an American city — it didn’t have a single on-street protected bike lane as recently as 10 years ago.

Elsewhere on the Network: Sustainable Cities Collective explains how cities like Seattle and Toronto are “rethinking” backyards. And the Dallas Morning News’ Transportation Blog says that for a city with no plans to stop expanding highways, building landscaped “decks” to mitigate the damage is likely to become increasingly common.

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