Bicycle Economy

May is National Bike Month

Bikeway networks are emerging along urban, low-traffic streets as residents employ increasing pedal power in cities like Cambridge, Massachusetts; New York City; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco. Tourism and transportation trend watchers note that the amount of on-street bicycle parking provides a ready gauge to how rider-friendly a city is.

Regardless of the findings of a National Household Travel Survey that 40 percent of all trips we make are two miles or less, the International Bicycle Fund (IBF) reports that even American city dwellers choose bikes less than 1 percent of the time. In Europe, which favors walkable cities, Amsterdam commuters lead the way by choosing their bikes 28 percent of the time, followed by 20 percent in Denmark, 10 percent in Germany, 8 percent in the United Kingdom and 5 percent in both France and Italy.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, at least a quarter of Americans age 16 and older are likely to choose to ride a bicycle sometime this summer. The National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes notes that 26 percent of us ride for recreation, and 24 percent for our health. Additional reasons include getting home (14 percent), errands (14 percent), visiting (10 percent), commuting to school or work (5 percent) and “other.”, the official website for Bike-to-Work Week, May 16-20, hosts a searchable database of bike clubs and ride resources.

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