Bike Counts up 27% Last Year; 75% in Last 10 Years

Alameda County’s first ever substantive evaluation of bike count data has been released and the numbers are super-encouraging. The Alameda CTC has conducted bike counts since 2002 at locations throughout the County, in order to see countywide trends in bicycling (and walking). Here are some highlights:

  1. Bike counts were up 27% last year (2011) as compared to 2010 numbers. Specifically, bike counts were up 27% in the evening commute, 36% in the mid-day counts, and 6% at schools;
  2. The largest percentage increase was in southern Alameda County-112% increase in 2011. This includes Fremont, Union City and Newark, with Fremont’s contribution being a 266% increase;
  3. Bike counts are up 75% in the last 10 years in Alameda County. Keep in mind that in the last 10 years, the population in Alameda County has held steady;
  4. Berkeley has the highest bike mode share 8%; Alameda County as a whole has a bike mode share of 2%; Oakland, Albany and Pleasanton are the only other cities in Alameda County with a bike mode share at or above the County average. This means that the other 10 cities/jurisdictions have below average bike mode shares;
  5. Of people who ride, 30% are women, which is up from 18% women riding in 2008;
  6. Eastern Alameda County is still dominated by men riders: 85% men to 15% women;
  7. 58% of riders wear a helmet. This is actually increasing, up from 51% in 2010;
  8. As bicycling increased 50% from 2002 to 2009, bike collisions increased only 14%, which validates the reality that as more people bicycle, the safer are our streets. Collision data lags our bike count data and is available up through 2009;
  9. Bike access mode share to BART stations in Alameda County increased 82% from 1998 to 2008;
  10. Gas prices in California have increased 145% in the last 10 years.

The counts from 2002 to 2011 were conducted at nine locations throughout Alameda County. In 2010 and 2011, counts were done at 63 locations and going forward counts will be done at 100 locations, pending funding. We will be considering doing weekend and recreational counts and EBBC will also be pushing for some evening, entertainment related counts. Think Art Murmur. More good data from the Alameda Countywide Bicycle Plan.

  1. The bicycling rate is highest amount people aged 23-29, and lowest among those 65 years of age and older;
  2. Over one million bike trips are made every week in Alameda County;
  3. Most bike trips are for social/entertainment/recreation-34%, followed by work trips-19% and shopping-19%;
  4. 75% of all bike trips occur In Northern Alameda County;
  5. Almost 40% of all bike trips are ten minutes (two miles) or less, 75% of bike trips are 20 minutes (4 miles) or less;
  6. Northern Alameda County has the highest bike mode share and lowest bike collision rates-"safety in numbers";
  7. 5 cities have bicycle parking ordinances: Oakland, Hayward, Pleasanton, Berkeley and Union City;
  8. Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville have bike signage programs;
  9. Newark and Piedmont are the only two cities without a bicycle plan, but Newark is in the process of developing a plan and Piedmont will start developing its first plan in the coming year.
  10. Bike mode share is highest among the lowest income bracket of those making less than $30,000/year; and lowest among the highest income bracket of those earning more than $100,000/year;
  11. According to the Alameda County Public Health Department, 52% of the population is overweight while 22% of children are clinically obese. Cost of this: $2.2 billion in 2006;
File attachment: PDF icon Alameda County Bike/Ped Count Data [3MB]