Top 10 Facts From America Bikes

From America Bikes:

  1. Bicycling and walking make up 10% of all trips made in the U.S., but receive less than 2% of federal transportation funding.
  2. Bicyclists and pedestrians account for 13% of traffic fatalities, but receive less than 1% of federal safety funding.
  3. 40% of all trips in America are two miles or less, 74% of which are traveled by car.
  4. Americans spend, on average, 18% of their annual income for transportation. The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is 3.75% ($308) of an average car ($8,220).
  5. A small reduction in driving causes a large drop in traffic. In 2008, the number of vehicle miles traveled dropped 3%, translating to a nearly 30% reduction in peak hour congestion.
  6. Transportation sources account for 70% of our nation’s oil consumption and for 30% of total U.S. GHC emissions.
  7. Simply increasing bicycling and walking from 10% of trips to 13% could lead to fuel savings of around 3.8 billion gallons a year. This is equivalent to having 19 million more hybrid cars on the road.
  8. 89% of Americans believe that transportation investments should support the goals of reducing energy use.
  9. 71% of Americans report that they would like to bicycle more. 53% favor increasing federal spending on bicycle lanes and paths.
  10. For the price of one mile of four-lane urban highway, around $50 million, hundreds of miles of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure can be built, an investment that could complete an entire network of active transportation facilities for a mid-sized city.

View the source document with citations
America Bikes

17 Responses to “Top 10 Facts From America Bikes”

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    I am pleasantly surprised by some of these statistics (71% of Americans report that they would like to bicycle more? – cool!). Thanks for posting.

  • David says:

    I’m very cynical at some of those statistics.

    This little Island is a microcosm of the mainland. We have massive motor vehicle grid lock during the Summer and every motorist out there thinks we very much need to do something to reduce traffic……….. starting with everyone else but themselves leaving their cars at home.

    It has gotten back to me via the Island grape vine that there are those who think that my kids and I are homeless because we ride a bicycle every where instead of driving.

    Why else would a 56 year old man ride a bicycle?

    There are over 25,000 year round registered motor vehicles on this 100 square mile Island with perhaps only 75 miles of paved roads.

    People would drive to the bathroom from the living room if they could.

  • doug says:

    I snorted when I read that 71% of Americans would like to ride a bike more often. My cynical mind read that as, “71% would like to ride a bike that is just as easy to ride as my car is to drive. And only when it’s sunny and 70.”

  • Saddle Up says:

    I think I mostly agree with David. As far as # 9 is concerned that sounds like a wish to me, if it was the reality things would be different right now. 71% of Americans would like to be rich and win the lottery and 71% of Americans would also like to be …

  • Alan says:

    Sheesh, nothing like spreading a little sunshine around here guys. Personally, I found the numbers encouraging. The fact that people are at least considering the possibility of riding a bike more often indicates to me we’re headed in the right direction. The second part of #9 was particularly encouraging. I guess it’s a matter of the ol’ half full or half empty question…

    Alan

  • David says:

    Hi Alen

    I don’t even think it’s a matter of the ol’ half full or half empty question but more like a drop in the bucket.

    I’m a 15 + year member of the Martha’s Vineyard Joint Transportation Committee representing cyclists and pedestrians. On numerous occasions I’ve said at meetings, that with the way we are going we should change the name of this committee to the Automobile Accommodation Committee.

    Americans will not give up their one person to one car attitude until gas hit the $5.00 a gallon range and/or congestion gets so bad they will have no other choice.

  • Jim Ball says:

    People who say they would like to ride more, are quick to add, “If it were not so dangerous!” “No shoulder on the road!” “Or I would have to share a very narrow, rough, lane with large trucks who blow their horn, expecting a cyclist to get out of the way!”
    Jim

  • Alan says:

    @David

    City leaders have to decide that encouraging bicycling and walking are beneficial to their community, then build high quality facilities that are attractive enough that people of all ages will be motivated to use them. This is the model that has worked so well in Europe.

    Even in the car-centric suburb in which I live I’ve seen tremendous progress over the past 5 years because of a few people within City government advocating strongly for bicycling and walking:

    http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/09/27/our-bike-trails/

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @Jim

    That’s exactly why we need to keep pushing hard for high quality biking infrastructure.

  • David says:

    Alen

    I agree with all that you are saying.

    I’ve been jumping up and down for 20 years for high quality biking infrastructure.

    Here on Martha’s Vineyard we have the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, a regulatory body that is suppose to regulate development. They will look at traffic impact in regards to development or building within or near a D.C.P.C, District of Critical Planning Concern.

    I have been after the MVC to declare the whole Island a D.C.P.C. in regards to traffic but it would be a huge political hot potato and no one in the M.V.C. has the guts to even suggest it. You see, I haven’t been elected to my position. I’m a volunteer and I’m not going any where.

    Now the issue of wind turbines has come up and the thought of barely being able see a bunch of wind towers way out on the distant horizon surrounding the Island has the M.V.C. up in arms and it looks like a island wide D.C.P.C. is in the works regulating wind turbines.

    Cars yes. Renewable energy? Of course not.

  • Alan says:

    @David

    That sounds like a frustrating situation indeed. If the politicians running the show have no vision or guts, unfortunately it’s probably a losing battle. All the best in your efforts and thanks for what you do.

    Alan

  • David says:

    Jim Ball says:

    “People who say they would like to ride more, are quick to add, “If it were not so dangerous!” “No shoulder on the road!” “Or I would have to share a very narrow, rough, lane with large trucks who blow their horn, expecting a cyclist to get out of the way!”

    Jim

    I hear that all the time and that is a legitimate reason. There is a Dutch woman who grew up riding all her life in Holland but once here will no longer ride her bike in the road way.

    I’ve read that cyclists in Holland feel safe when riding out and about and that motorists are trained that cyclists do have the right of way.

    To drive a car in America is a privilege but motorists take it as a preordained right and as such drive with a point and shoot mentality. Damn The Cyclists, Full Speed ahead.

  • lyle says:

    Not directly related, but here, the long term planning of a decade or more ago is paying off. Federal transportation stimulus funds have been obtained to complete the major north/south bicycle path. Not only will it include the path itself, but also the appropriate cross walks, safety improvements and a number of links to existing paths/routes.

    I’ll agree though that all those “would likes” will only translate into “will” once there’s enough infrastructure in place. As well as respect for the bicyclists themselves.

  • David says:

    I remember at a meeting close to 15 years ago one highway superintendent was complaining that there wasn’t any funding for side walks. Another highway superintendent says, “That’s OK. Call it a bike path and the funding is assured.

    I was kind of dropped jawed for a moment then I responded with, That’s why we have all these G D POS substandard “bike paths.”

  • Saddle Up says:

    @Alan

    I do find a lot of the 10 facts encouraging also, but some of them clearly are responses to questions that were never intended to receive a neutral answer. Since # 9 has been mentioned does anyone truly believe 7 out of 10 Americans want to ride a bike more? Really?

  • Alan says:

    @SaddleUp

    I would venture that if we suddenly had bicycling infrastructure on the level of what we see in cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, we would indeed see 7 out of 10 Americans riding their bikes more frequently. Of course that’s a very big “if”. In the meantime, “wanting” in far different than “doing”.

    Alan

  • David says:

    Alan wrote

    I would venture that if we suddenly had bicycling infrastructure on the level of what we see in cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, we would indeed see 7 out of 10 Americans riding their bikes more frequently. Of course that’s a very big “if”. In the meantime, “wanting” in far different than “doing”.

    I agree 100%

    It’s working through the American car centric mentality that is the draw back.

    It will take time and there are municipalities in America that are closer to that goal than others.

 
© 2011 EcoVelo™