Palo Alto number two in the nation behind Davis at 10.1%
The U.S. Census released their 2011 American Community Survey estimates on Wednesday, and San Francisco Peninsula bike advocate Andrew Boone found some surprising gains for the region.
The current refresh from the U.S. government shows estimates for communities with a population over 65,000. Beside the obvious larger cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, this includes smaller cities such as Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Daly City, and San Mateo.
Andrew Boone crunched for several cities on the Peninsula, the South Bay and the East Bay and discovered big gains for a few cities.
- Mountain View is now (in 2011) at 6.2%, up from 4.1 in 2010.
- Berkeley is now (in 2011) at 8.8%, up from 8.0% in 2010.
- Palo Alto is now (in 2011) at 10.1%, up from 8.6% in 2010.
- Menlo Park is at 8.8% for the period 2008 – 2010 (no new data, fewer than 65,000 people).
- For the Stanford University “Census Designated Place” (CDP), the bicycle mode share is an astounding 40%.
Those are the only Bay Area cities with a bike-to-work mode share of over 5%. Palo Alto is the first Bay Area city ever to break 10%. Palo Alto has passed Boulder, Colorado (9.6% bike to work) to become the #2 bike city in the entire country, and is creeping up on #1 Davis, whose bike-to-work mode share is now at 16.6% and dropping. (The UC-Davis CDP matches Stanford’s 40% mode share).
The same percentage of commuters now use bikes to get to work in Mountain View (6.2%) as in famed Portland, Oregon (6.3%). The city of Mountain View, California managed to triple the bike mode share since 2000, matching the gains made by Portland, OR in the same time period. Mountain View is home to several notable high technology entities, including Google, Intuit, Symantec, Mozilla, and LinkedIn. The NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field adjoins Mountain View near Google’s headquarters.
Although I see substantially more bike commuters through downtown San Jose over previous years, San Jose as a whole did not register an increase in bike commuters. Redwood City, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose remain below 2%. San Francisco remains steady at 3.4%.
Remember, the US Census only counts one mode of transportation for each worker. Although I consider myself a bike commuter, I usually ride more miles on a bus than I do on the bike, so the US Census considers me a user of public transportation.
Thank you to Andrew Boone for researching this topic and making the data availablem, who told me to “steal it!” regarding his data. You can read more from him at Peninsula Transportation Alternatives. Tip of the hat to Ladyfleur.