Biking to work has grown in popularity so much over the past decade that even the data-crunchers over at the U.S. Census Bureau have started taking notice.
Last week, the Bureau released a first-of-its-kind report showing that bike commuting in the U.S. has increased by 60% since 2000, more than any other mode of transportation. That said, the proportion of commuters who bike is still pretty tiny—just 0.6% of the total. In the nation's 50 biggest cities, it's a bit bigger—a full percentage point, thanks, in part, to the growth of bike-share programs.
On the Bureau's list of popular bike commute cities, Portland, Oregon. comes out on top. (No surprise there.) But so do Madison, Minneapolis, and . . . Boise, Idaho?
Idaho has actually been far ahead of the curve when it comes to cyclist safety and needs. In 1982, the state enacted a law (the "Idaho Stop") that allows cyclists to slowly roll through stop signs, and bike injuries plummeted by 14.5% the following year. Today, the Boise police department runs stings to catch drivers inching up on cyclists too closely, and cops even have their own patrol car solely dedicated to bike safety.
Check out the full rankings here:
The report noted that while the West dominated high proportions of bike commuters, a handful of college towns were also leading the way. The Northeast boasted the largest share of pedestrian commuters, but the South held dismally low rates for both biking and walking.
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