By Michael Graham Richard, November 8, 2013
How does your city rank (if on the list)?This slide is from a presentation by John MacArthur at the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC). I mentioned the presentation in this article about electric bikes, and I also included the slide in that post, but I felt it deserved its own article (it's not about electric bikes anyway). It shows 45 large U.S. cities ranked by percentage of bicycle commuting, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The main takeaway for me is how much variability there is, and how big the opportunity is to just bring the laggard cities up to the level of the best biking cities. It's kind of like figuring out what works, and then exporting that model to other cities rather than have them slowly reinvent the wheel. That's why it's so important for city planners to visit Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
And even the best ranked U.S. cities aren't anywhere near perfect; Portland is continuously improving and finding new ways to make biking safer and more convenient (see this post about their multi-modal set up that includes bike valets, for example).
And if you want to see what a truly bike-friendly city can look like, have a look at what they do in Amsterdam: (See website for the video).