Bike Ridership Is Down Across America

By:  Diane Benjamin

Are both councils stupid enough to keep doing “complete streets”?  I predict YES!

After Millions of Dollars Spent and Hundreds of New Lane Miles Built, Bike Ridership Is Down Across America

The 2017 American Community Survey finds the number of people biking to work is falling nationwide.

Source:     http://reason.com/blog/2018/09/27/after-millions-of-dollars-spent-and-hund

Excerpts:

Despite spending millions of dollars on hundreds of miles of bikeways, American cities are seeing a big drop in the number of people who pedal their way to work. That’s according to the latest American Community Survey (a smaller, more detailed version of the U.S. Census), which found declining bike ridership across most American cities last year.

The drop was most pronounced in bike-friendly Seattle, home of the $12-million-a-mile bike lane. In 2015, 4 percent of Seattleites (16,300 people) biked to work. That rate fell to 3.5 percent (14,600 people) in 2016 and 2.8 percent (12,000 people) last year.

This decrease comes as the city of Seattle is throwing a lot of money at building out its biking network. In 2015, Emerald City voters approved the Move Seattle levy, which raised some $94 million to add 110 miles of bike lanes, greenways, and associated infrastructure. Costs have since increased to a point where Seattle residents may get only about half the miles they were promised.

Some cities, including car-centric places like Dallas and Phoenix, did see small gains in the share of commuters biking to work, but not enough to reverse the national trend. In the U.S. as a whole, only 0.5 percent of people biked to work in 2017, down from 0.6 percent in 2016.

What is driving this drop is difficult to say. The reasons could vary from city to city. Yet the fact that biking is falling even in those cities most committed to expanding bike ridership suggests that throwing more money at bike-only infrastructure cannot change the fact that most people would rather use non-pedal-powered modes of transportation to get around town.

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27 thoughts on “Bike Ridership Is Down Across America

  1. The legacy of Tari Renner will be revealed in the history books as the worst mayor of Bloomington ever. Second place Judy Markowitz. Both have wrought much unnecessary debt upon their community. Losers!

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  2. Not safe to ride a bike through the homeless camps (like in San Francisco) or the sanctuary cities (over run with pissed off gangs of Muslims) or the ghettos of Baltimore, Chicago, LA., etc. Duh.

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  3. It’s the economy. Young People are getting good jobs and with money they never had during the Obama years they would rather have a home in the suburbs and drove to work.
    The only way Renners and Koo’s sustainability plans can manipulate people to bike and live in apartments is if the economy is horrible. They need America to fail.

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  4. In a time when efficiency driven by technology is consuming our world, riding a bike may be good exercise but is neither a time efficient or desirable way to move your body from one place to another. I know that our leadership and the folks at BikeBlono don’t want to come to grips with this reality but none-the-less it is the reality that we face in the 21st Century. If you want to ride a bike everywhere… go to China (a lack of cars requires them to ride bikes) … I will stay with cars… thank you….

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  5. Come on fellows. If there is a bad or self-serving decision to be made those two mayors will make it. Facts don’t matter to them only their globalist socialist agenda.

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  6. This is GOOD news. I mean, IF bicycle sales KEEP falling then Koos won’t have an income, and he’ll hopefully HAVE to move somewhere that can support his bicycle business, like Ulan Bator! Then Tari would have to go there to visit him and MAYBE the U.S. would yank his passport and he’d HAVE to stay!! AND they’d be the RIGHT FIT there!

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  7. Diane, I predict you are right.

    I have yet to see a biker in any of the official city bike lines, but I see them riding two abreast, streets and not stopping at stop signs ________________________________

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  8. Our elitist left wing establishment leadership, their friends. associates and supporters have a vision for Bloomington that is contrary to both reality and the needs of the people of Bloomington/Normal. They need to move somewhere they will feel comfortable instead of trying to turn our towns into some hip place out west. This is Bloomington/Normal not Seattle or Portland.

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  9. A drop in Seattle’s bike ridership, stop the press! We have a disaster in progress here folks.
    1700 Seattle people have disappeared. Or moved, past away, or just gave it up.
    1700 bikers out of 16,000? Did they take this survey on a day it rained?

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      1. Not very many. Seattle’s total City population is just under 704,400 people. It looks equally bad when you use figures instead of percentages, after all 16,000 isn’t a large number when you find out how many people live there. A total of 4300 people have stopped riding for a variety of reasons. I do agree bike lanes are real stretch to use tax payer monies without the bikers helping to fund some of that cost too. License plates? Maybe a way. Added cost to bike purchase? Might be another way. I have been hit head on on a bike as a nine year old, and believe me when I say it hurts a lot, and don’t be the one driving the car! Like them or not you do HAVE to give them the “Right Away first”.

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    1. “Despite spending millions of dollars on hundreds of miles of bikeways, American cities are seeing a big drop in the number of people who pedal their way to work. That’s according to the latest American Community Survey (a smaller, more detailed version of the U.S. Census), which found declining bike ridership across most American cities last year.”

      I believe the article was using Seattle as just one example of what is happening across the country…So I would assume since you are trying to gaslight us on this issue you want to continue to build bike paths in Bloomington/Normal with taxpayer money? Please let us know where you think the next taxpayer funded bike path should be? We are all interested in this…

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      1. We are waiting for your proposed next Bloomington/Normal bike path, Dawson Lake? Perhaps you could also come up with a real argument, for taxpayer funded bike paths since you think they are good idea? Or is suggesting that they took the survey in one city on a rainy day is your justification for not believing a nationwide survey. Is that all you have? Do you have a set of alternative nationwide numbers that is different? What is your argument? Are you just a gaslighting troll? It seems like it… please prove me wrong.

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    2. “Not very many” Who said this? No one…. this is a study of the ENTIRE country… so it does mean something – don’t try to confuse and distract…(more gaslighting) – Once again where is your argument? Licenses for bikes? Bike owners help fund some of the cost? Getting hit on a bike hurts? Did you have a helmet on????

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      1. You seem to get your fuse lit easily and assumed way too much.Helmet? In 1952? Out in the country? Not hardly. The ass-u-med part, we both agree. I only question the small number declining over a short couple of years might be misleading. How many new bikers started up in those years? How many moved somewhere else. To get a feeling for a trend a few more details are needed. But keep in mind, because of my own experience, in this Country, bikes should be in safe environments only. And don’t get me started on scooters.

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      2. My fuse gets lit? You are funny…. I am calling out your gaslighting…. . “I only question the small number declining over a short couple of years might be misleading”. Which is once again more gaslighting and ridiculous. And the helmet… OMG … that one went completely over your head (so to speak).

        So if you don’t want to light my fuse…. don’t try to discredit a survey of the entire country by saying the number in one city was small and it might have been raining when they took the survey. Yes that is what you said…. pretty silly I would say?

        So if you have something constructive and intelligent to bring to the conversation here I am all for engaging in reasoned debates about facts. But if you act like a gaslighting troll…. and I see it… expect me to call you out.

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  10. Not to worry – bike ridership, as well as bus usage, will steadily increase as anyone who can afford a car leaves B-N and Illinois, and our government welcomes more and more who can’t. I’ll turn off the lights as I go, since I expect I’m stuck here for at least 10 years, maybe 20.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In the past week while in the crosswalk on north street in downtown Normal I have almost by run over by 2 cyclist screaming through the stop sign. It is the sidewalks there where you have to dodge bikes now the streets are dangerous. If the mayor did not own a bike shop you think someone in authority would take action to stop these out of control cyclist?

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  12. To support your contention that bicycle ridership is down, you post another blog! Just one blog. Wow. You didn’t do any other research, just that one blog. Let’s see, come up with the predetermined result and forget whether they are actually true.

    “Cycling, also known as biking, is a popular leisure activity and, in many cases, a means of transportation. In 2016, around 12.4 percent of Americans cycled on a regular basis. The number of cyclists/bike riders in the U.S. has increased over the past three years from around 43 million to 47.5 million in 2017. While the number of cyclists in the U.S. has decreased amongst cyclists aged between six and 17 over the past ten years, the trend among young adults – people aged between 18 to 24 years – is slightly different. The number of young adults who participated in bicycling has remained relatively stable at around four million.”

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/255614/size-of-the-bicycle-market-in-the-united-states/

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    1. “Despite spending millions of dollars on hundreds of miles of bikeways, American cities are seeing a big drop in the number of people who pedal their way to work. That’s according to the latest American Community Survey (a smaller, more detailed version of the U.S. Census), which found declining bike ridership across most American cities last year.”

      OK, if you would have actually read the article (first paragraph above) you would have known that we are talking about people who PETAL THEIR WAY TO WORK. Translated for you means: they ride their bikes to work.

      Nice to know that many kids and adults are riding bikes for recreation but that is not what we are talking about. Commuting with bikes (or cycles for you) on taxpayer funded roads is the subject here. Please read what we are talking about before making a complete fool of yourself in public. It is embarrassing to even have to point this out to you.

      So Foxyriver – get on your bike and Read first!

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  13. Why don’t you all try to get out of your tiny little bubble. Ellsworth or Bloomngton isn’t the entire country. I’ve travel widely and every single city I’ve been in has bike riding services like Divvy where you pick up a docked bike in one location ride it to another location. It’s pretty heavily used service in cities like Chicago, New York, gee, any city I can think of. YES it is used by those going to work. No need to store your personal bike at work.

    The blogger’s sentiment is that there should be NO bicycle paths, bike lanes, etc. because she doesn’t ride a bike. It’s amusing that the commenters here think they speak for the entire country on the subject of bike ridership. You don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once again since you don’t seem to understand…(or you are deliberately Gaslighting us) this discussion is about commuting to work on taxpayer funded bike paths. Why yes your personal biking experience is much more trustworthy and relevant than the “American Community Survey (a smaller, more detailed version of the U.S. Census).”

      How could that Census survey compete with your astute observations?

      I like how you attack Diane….. blogger? She is the only real journalist in this sad elitist run area telling the truth. Because Diane doesn’t ride a bike she is against bike paths? How do you know that? Are you a mind reader? She is opposed to wasteful spending (like all of us except you) and having bike paths foisted upon the community to fulfill our elitist leadership (and yours) vision of what this town (Needs).
      No one here says we speak for the entire community. We just speak for the rational non-elitist members.
      You want bike paths that serve 1 percent of the population? Fine just don’t ask us to pay for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I am someone that used to commute to work on a bicycle and I don’t want my tax dollars used to support people on bicycles as the majority of them do not follow the rules of the road, Come to downtown Normal and observe some time you will see what I mean. And to those 9 individuals in their cute spandex outfits riding 3 wide and 3 deep that ran me off the trail and laughed as you went by I include you among the law breakers.

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