2009 Top USA Bicycling Cities

The US Census Bureau released their 2009 American Community Survey numbers last week. This survey and the League of American Bicyclists and some news analysts crunched the numbers to divine the number of people who biked to work in 2009.

The nonprofit Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network compiled the data for all cities and found Boulder, Colorado tops the list with the highest percentage of bike commuters at 12.3%. Following are Eugene OR at 10.9, Fort Collins CO (9.9%), Berkeley CA (8.9%), Cambridge MA (8.5%), Missoula MT (7.2%), Gainesville FL (6.3%). The next city — Portland OR with 5.8% — is the first large city on the list in 8th place.


University Avenue cyclists

The Ft Collins Coloradoan notes the ACS numbers have issues — “the survey says 194 people in Colorado commute to work by ferry boat” — and the survey asks only for the primary mode of transportation. Most of my travel, for instance, is on a train, but I consider myself to be a bike commuter. Nonetheless, this annual survey gives a rough view of what’s going on in our country.

The League of American Bicyclists took a more detailed look at the top 70 American cities (by population), noting that, nationally, bicycling for transportation has held steady from 2008. For these larger cities, Portland OR tops the list, followed by Minneapolis MN, Seattle WA, San Francisco CA, Oakland CA, and New Orleans LA.

Other California cities in the LAB’s rankings are Sacramento in 11th place (2.72%), Anaheim at 14th place (1.54%), Santa Ana (15th place), Long Beach (23rd), Los Angeles (26th), and San Jose (29th, dropping from 15th last year!). Clustering around the middle of the list are San Diego , Riverside , Fresno, and Stockton from 33rd to 36th place. Bakersfield CA comes in at 45th with an estimated 0.58% bicycling to work, just beating the national average.

Plano Texas comes in dead last, with an estimated 0% of the population bicycling to work. :-(

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