More bikes than cars...at least in this photo via Bike Portland.
Here is George F. Will sounding off in his latest column in Newsweek. He's dissing New Urbanism, Portland, Oregon and even Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who must have gotten too enthusiastic at a recent meeting with Will:
"Where to start? Does LaHood really think Americans were not avid drivers before a government highway program "promoted" driving? Does he think 0.01 percent of Americans will ever regularly bike to work?"
The answer is a definitive yes, Will, and we don't need to denigrate the Transportation Secretary or even cars in order to think so. In fact, isn't it time Will bought a new bicycle and tried it out himself?
Five Cities where more than .01 of people regularly bike to work
1. Portland, Oregon tops the list, which is probably why Will calls it the "P word" instead of "P Town." Estimates are that 16% of Portlanders ride bikes for transportation. In fact, most recently bike path traffic jams have some city riding advocates worried.
2. Boulder, Colorado is a city where 21% of commuter trips are estimated to be taken by bike, and 14% of all transportation trips were by bike. Approximately 95% of the city's arterial streets have bike lanes or paths.
3. Davis, California considers itself one of the most bike-friendly cities in America, Car commuting has definitely increased in this small but growing city that encircles UC Davis, yet the city boasted according to a Streetfilms report, around 18 percent of bike commuting "mode share" back in 2007.
4. San Francisco, California, according to this recent CNBC article, has seen a 43 percent increase in cycling since 2006. Six percent of all trips in the city are now done by bicycle, according to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
5. And it's not just the west coast, either! In Philadelphia, by 2006 1.2% of workers biked to work as their primary mode of transportation, according to the Bicycle Coalition.
In fact, stats from the Transportation Alternatives say that there are two million bike commuters nationally. There are currently around 130 million total commuters, so that means we're still doing better at bike commuting than Will's 0.01 percent (IAC Transportation, in a 2008 report, suggested .38% of us, or 468,000 are bike commuters. Time for George F. Will to go out for a bike ride.
Read more about bike commuting at TreeHugger
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Virtuous Cycle Video Hightlights
One Swedish Cyclist's Lament: How Hard Should it Be to Bike to Work?