Number of people biking to work up 60 percent


A new Census Bureau report, released today, finds that the number of people biking to work has increased by 60 percent in the past decade — up from about 488,000 people in 2000 to about 786,000 people in the last five years.

“In recent years, many communities have taken steps to support more transportation options, such as bicycling and walking,” Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau sociologist and the report’s author, said in a statement released by the Bureau. “For example, many cities have invested in bike share programs, bike lanes and more pedestrian-friendly streets.”

The report states that “while bicyclists still account for just 0.6 percent of all commuters, some of the nation’s largest cities have more than doubled their rates since 2000. Portland, Ore., had the highest bicycle-commuting rate at 6.1 percent, up from 1.8 percent in 2000. In Minneapolis, the rate increased from 1.9 percent to 4.1 percent.”

Here in Southwestern Connecticut, we’re not quite at that rate. Okay, okay — we’re like really far away from that rate. Data from the Census Bureau shows that the city of Bridgeport boasts the highest rate in Fairfield County at 0.3 percent — about half of the national average. Stamford and Norwalk follow with a bike-to-work population of roughly 0.2 percent of the population, and Danbury takes the crown of Fairfield County city with the lowest rate at 0.1 percent.

But there is one Connecticut city being touted as one of the biggest biking havens in the nation, finding its way into the top 10 for medium sized cities (with populations between 100,000 and 199,999 people). Check it out:

Additionally, New Haven was ranked as the No. 5 city for the share of residents walking to work, with 12.4 percent of the city’s population getting to work on foot. No Fairfield County towns made that top 10 list, but we’ve got a lineup of which local municipalities are the most walkable right here:

Maggie Gordon