A Long Way to Go

I pulled these numbers from a recent article in U.S. News and World Report. We still have a long way to go here in the U.S.

Percentage of trips made by bicycle
United States: 1%
Germany: 10%
Denmark: 18%
Netherlands: 27%
Davis, CA: 15-17% (highest in U.S.)

Portland, OR: 3.5%
Kansas City, MO: 0.02% (lowest in U.S.)

Percentage of short trips made by bicycle (under 1.5 miles)
United States: 2%
Netherlands: 37%

Cycling fatalities
United States: 5.8 per 100 million km cycled
Netherlands: 1.1 per 100 million km cycled

2 Responses to “A Long Way to Go”

  • Nate Briggs says:

    Hey Alan:

    The demographics of bicycle transport in Europe are also a little startling. If I recall correctly, something like 25% of trips made by people over the age of 70 in Holland are made by bicycle.

    This speaks to the creation of a “bike friendly” atmosphere on those streets.

    But another factor, which we may not immediately consider over here – where possession of a driver’s license is a “right”, not a “priviledge” – is that, in Europe, a driver’s license is harder to get … and to keep … as citizens grow older.

    Bicycles give older Europeans a sense of mobility and independence after their “automobile days” are done.


  • Tara Goddard says:

    Hi Alan – A friend forwarded me your post. I need to correct an error. In Davis, CA, we have a bicycle mode share of 15-17%, so we are the highest in the US by a considerable margin. Better yet, we’ve made it a goal to get back to our 1970’s level of 25% of trips made by bicycle. I agree, we have a long way to go in the US, but I had to make sure we got our due. ;)

    Tara Goddard
    Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
    City of Davis, CA

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