2014 national bike commute data has been released, and two exciting trends continue in the East Bay. One, Berkeley surpassed Boulder, Colorado as the number 2 city in the US for bike commuting, with a 9.7% share. As always, Davis California leads with an impressive 23% of commute trips by bike. Equally exciting, the Oakland metropolitan area, which includes Berkeley, Albany, Piedmont, Emeryville, Alameda and Oakland is now number 2 nationally for bike commuting with a 5% mode share, jumping ahead of Washington, DC, which dropped slightly to 3.9%, and staying ahead of fast-rising metro areas of Minneapolis 4.7% and San Francisco 4.4%. Portland leads all big cities with a 7.1% bike commute mode share. As we have stated previously, throw in our commuters who bike to transit everyday, and soon we could push Portland for number 1.
In another noteworthy development, Berkeley has for the first time in a long time surpassed 50% of all commute trips by walking, bicycling and transit. This now places Berkeley number 1 in California for its active transportation commute mode share. San Francisco is number 2, at just under 50%, which may be a more significant achievement, given that San Francisco is 7 times larger than Berkeley. Still, number 1 is number 1.
What does this mean? Demand for bicycling continues to grow quickly and more bicycle facilities are needed to keep up with expanding demand, particularly separated bikeways. This also means more money is needed to build the bikeways and bike parking facilities you demand, and expand bicycle education programs to many more people who are ready to try an active commute.
If you want to play around with the numbers, go here and in the “topic or table name” type S0801 and then in the “state, county or place” type the city or county of interest. Then select “view” to see your results. Look down and you’ll see a row for bicycling and its mode share, broken down by gender. As for our designation “Oakland metropolitan area” we are including Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, Piedmont and the city of Alameda. This is the Northern Alameda planning area, a recognized urban planning area in the County, with a combined population of around 650,000. Also, for smaller cities such as Emeryville and Albany, you’ll need to go back and look at 2012 or 2013 data, as this new data is for medium and large cities. (65,000+ population)