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#26 2013-01-18 13:18:36

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Since I went to the trouble of tabulating it, I might as well share it:  Here's the percentage of commutes by bicycle in the most populous U.S. cities:

(01) 0.83%  New York
(02) 1.04%  Los Angeles
(03) 1.40%  Chicago
(04) 0.42%  Houston
(05) 1.77%  Philadelphia
(06) 0.76%  Phoenix
(07) 0.31%  San Antonio
(08) 0.94%  San Diego
(09) 0.20%  Dallas
(10) 0.98%  San Jose
(11) 0.44%  Jacksonville
(12) 0.45%  Indianapolis
(13) 1.88%  Austin
(14) 3.44%  San Francisco
(15) 0.54%  Columbus

And ranked by bike commuter share:

(14) 3.44%  San Francisco
(13) 1.88%  Austin
(05) 1.77%  Philadelphia
(03) 1.40%  Chicago
(02) 1.04%  Los Angeles
(10) 0.98%  San Jose
(08) 0.94%  San Diego
(01) 0.83%  New York
(06) 0.76%  Phoenix
(15) 0.54%  Columbus
(12) 0.45%  Indianapolis
(11) 0.44%  Jacksonville
(04) 0.42%  Houston
(07) 0.31%  San Antonio
(09) 0.20%  Dallas

After the top four cities, it drops dramatically.

One out of 53 workers in Austin commutes by bike, vs. 1 in 500 for Dallas.  Ouch.  Reminds me of why I don't live in Dallas.

Population data from Wikipedia, bike commuter % from the Governing map mentioned earlier.

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#27 2013-01-19 19:50:13

bizikletari
Member
Registered: 2009-03-18
Posts: 223

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

tomwald wrote:

bizikletari:  (...)If you disagree with the City's status quo on this, then I recommend that you argue your case with the BAC and not just here.

For some silly reason I thought the Bicycle Austin Forum was the appropiate forum in Austin to talk about Bicycle issues. But if it weren't; my recollection, from my days at the BAC, is that the BAC does not have the power to add items to the transportation bonds brought to the voters. At most, the BAC will express support for the bond as is related to them by staff. Not expressing support does not exist.
And on top of that, unfortunately, I do not have the skills to navigate those sessions with a polite countenance.
Thanks for the suggestion, though. I hope I am still allowed to post my ideas here.

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#28 2013-01-20 01:00:45

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 582

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

bizikletari wrote:
tomwald wrote:

bizikletari:  (...)If you disagree with the City's status quo on this, then I recommend that you argue your case with the BAC and not just here.

For some silly reason I thought the Bicycle Austin Forum was the appropiate forum in Austin to talk about Bicycle issues.

To be fair, he did say "and not just here".  He didn't say "don't post here" -- he basically said "don't just post here -- argue your case with them too".

Thanks for the suggestion, though. I hope I am still allowed to post my ideas here.

Of course you are.  Though we do all tend to be preaching to the choir here -- it's the City Council that would be the ones to convince to make a real change.

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#29 2013-01-20 06:36:48

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Yes, bizikletari, your posts are more than welcome here, I definitely appreciate the contributions you've made, and I very much hope you continue to share.  Tom Wald is the director of *BIKE* Austin (a separate organization), not *BICYCLE* Austin (this forum), so he can't tell you not to post here.  (Though as Doug pointed out, Tom wasn't telling you not to post here anyway; he was just saying that posting here *alone* doesn't get anything changed.  If all it took to get the City to changes something was to post it to this forum, then we would have had car-free bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd. a long time ago, believe me.)

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#30 2013-01-20 13:53:00

tomwald
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From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 290

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

bizikletari wrote:

For some silly reason I thought the Bicycle Austin Forum was the appropiate forum in Austin to talk about Bicycle issues. But if it weren't; my recollection, from my days at the BAC, is that the BAC does not have the power to add items to the transportation bonds brought to the voters. At most, the BAC will express support for the bond as is related to them by staff.

Post away here.  I had no intention of discouraging you from posting here.  By recommending that you _also_ take your case to the BAC, I was suggesting how your voice could be more effective at accomplishing your interests.

As for the BAC's input on the transportation bonds, the BAC certainly does have some influence on bond elections, but they rarely choose to exercise it, and when they do, they tend to agree with those others who have already looked into the matter.  The BAC could certainly make a resolution for a bond election, and then send a representative to the citizens' bond committee and/or Austin City Council to relay that information.

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#31 2013-02-01 12:20:14

m1ek
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 153

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Speaking of parking - how's that pilot process for Shoal Creek alternatives going, five years later? I'm sure that wasn't just a throwaway designed to get people to stop bugging the city about it, right?

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#32 2015-05-26 15:18:51

Darron
Member
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 104

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

http://www.businessinsider.com/6-reason … ion-2015-5
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-re … 14-86.html

"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans who travel to work by bike increased an incredible 60 percent over the last decade, making it the largest percentage increase of all commuting modes."

Anecdotally I would say this is true for the area of town I live in.  Definitely more commuters now than in 2000 but I'm not sure I would call a 60% increase "incredible" as cyclist still account for only 0.6% of all commuters nationwide.  Increasing a really small number by another small number is not saying much.  It would also be interesting to see where most of those gains came from, I would bet they are mostly from cities that already were at the top of the list for cycling commuters.  Someone with more time than me could probably tease this out from the raw census data: http://www.census.gov/hhes/commuting/da … uting.html

Interestingly, according to the census data Austin is still not in the top 15 large cities with highest percentage of cycling commuters even though Bicycling Magazine put us at 13 for top cycling friendly cities (CAMPO also cited the Bicycling magazine ranking as proof we have good infrastructure).  I guess all those auto commuters didn't get the word!

DJ

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#33 2015-05-26 23:25:05

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Yeah, I took issue with Austin being called a bike-friendly city the first time it happened, back in the 90s, because in our city cars are often allowed to park in bike lanes, there's a high rate of hit-and-run drivers, those drivers rarely face significant consequences, and a pitiful % of cyclists overall.  In nearly twenty years, not much has changed.  Here's the article, last updated last year

http://bicycleaustin.info/getaround/top10.html

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#34 2015-05-27 09:14:10

Darron
Member
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 104

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Looking at the census xls files Austin falls at #18 for all large cities with 1.5% of workers commuting by bike and its is 3x better than the next highest Texas city.  The actual numbers of bicycle commuters in each city is quite surprising to me, less than 1000 in both Ft Worth and Dallas? Wow.  So I guess compared to the rest of Texas Austin can boast how great it is for cyclist.

Rank        City                Number bicycle commuters        Percentage of workers
18        Austin, Texas         6,251                    1.5
65        Lubbock, Texas         539                        0.5
71        Houston, Texas         4,220                    0.4
80        Corpus Christi, Texas     464                        0.3
88        Arlington, Texas     367                        0.2
92        El Paso, Texas         413                        0.2
97        Irving, Texas         174                        0.2
104        San Antonio, Texas     1,011                    0.2
106        Dallas, Texas         821                        0.1
107        Fort Worth, Texas     488                        0.1
108        Garland, Texas         77                        0.1
109        Plano, Texas         122                        0.1
111        Laredo, Texas         43                        0.0

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#35 2015-05-27 09:56:47

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Yeah, we're #18 for biking but we're #11 for population -- meaning we're way behind cities of a similar size.

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#36 2016-09-21 12:52:41

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Austin just got another one of those best-bike-cities rankings, this time #7 by Bicycling magazine (up four places from 2014).  This despite the city blissfully allowing cars to park in bike lanes, a hit-and-run rate 50% higher than the national average, weak to no penalties for at-fault drivers hitting cyclists, etc. etc.

http://bicycleaustin.info/getaround/top10.html

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#37 2016-09-21 14:58:29

Darron
Member
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 104

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Reading the article it looks like most of the improved ranking was attributed to recent infrastructure projects and repaving/restriping efforts.  While I agree we still have a long way to go and I feel #7 ranking is unwarranted, we are miles (no pun intended) ahead of where we were 10 or 20 years ago.  The fact that both the Mopac and 183 north projects now include money set aside for cycling infrastructure and that CAMPO now includes cycling in it's long term plans says a lot.

Darron

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#38 2016-09-21 15:08:29

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

You're right, we get more infrastructure than we did decades ago.  But so do most other cities, I suspect.

My wife quit biking specifically because of how threatening drivers here are.  Not just "unfriendly", but gunning their engines and aiming for her when she tried to take the green path that takes a bike lane across a right-turn lane.  Many of us have shared stories here about how careless or selfish drivers were cavalier about their transgressions and yelled at cyclists for "being in the way".  If that's what passes for "bike-friendly", then I propose that we're setting the bar pretty low.

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#39 2019-02-04 11:45:25

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 226

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

It looks like Austin got another award:

https://mailchi.mp/austintexas/mobility … 7aa#mctoc3

If we have "exceptional sustainable commuting options" why does it take me up to an hour and a half to get to Parmer / Mopac from City Hall after 8 pm? 

Sure, we are better than other places, but can we save "exceptional" for when it really is?

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#40 2019-02-04 12:31:57

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
Website

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

It's easy to misread.  The award didn't go to "Austin".  It went to the "City of Austin".  Meaning, the city *government* got the award for being a sustainable-commuting employer, offering things like "free Capital Metro transit passes; free memberships for B-Cycle; subsidized vanpools; compressed and flexible work schedules; showers and facilities for active commuters; and enrollment in Smart Commute Rewards, the City’s commuter incentive program."

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#41 2019-02-04 22:25:44

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 226

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

MichaelBluejay wrote:

It's easy to misread.


Haha!  Yes, VERY easy to misread.  In fact before I posted that I went back to double check to see if the meant something other than 'Austin', but I'll admit I missed it.

But yes, you are correct.  It does say 'City of Austin', not 'Poor Dumb Bastards that Live in the Far Flung Parts of Austin that are still in Austin and pay Austin MTA Taxes and Depend on Public Transportation but are not City of Austin Employees.'

Fair enough.  Go 'City of Austin' Go!

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#42 2020-06-16 13:50:06

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
Website

Re: Austin's ranking as a top bicycling city

Just added this to my article on Why Austin is not a Top 10 Bicycling City.

(1) Austin ranked a pathetic 430th of 480 U.S. cities for its bicycle network by People for Bikes. (2020)

(2) In People for Bikes' City Rankings of North American cities, Austin ranked an embarrassing 35th for Ridership, 39th for Safety, 145th for reach, and...wait for it...307th for its bike network.  It ranked 20th overall, and its only decent score was 6th for how fast it's improving. (2020)

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