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Business Alliance reports uptick in bike commuting

Posted by on June 13th, 2008 at 10:13 am

The Portland Business Alliance has just released their 2007 Downtown Portland Business Census and Survey and the results show a 20% rise in the number of people who commute by bike.

The survey — which included businesses, government entities and non-profit organizations — found that 6% of downtown employees got to work by bike (last year, the same census found that 5% of employees pedaled to work.)

Here’s the breakdown of other modes:

From the graphic above, we see that a whopping 42% of downtown employees drive alone (the same amount that take MAX Bus). Given that the major influencer of transportation choice is the distance from where you live to where you work, I found it interesting that only 50% of downtown employees live within the City of Portland (with 9% living in the City Center).

Here’s the breakdown of where downtown employees live:

This underscores the importance of creating more affordable, bike-friendly housing options in the inner city.

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  • tonyt June 13, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Given that that was the 2007 data (where gas only hit $3/gallon in November), I\’d be REALLY curious to know what it is now with $4+ /gallon gasoline.

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  • a.O June 13, 2008 at 10:30 am

    So, that 41% listed as living in the \”City of Portland\” is really for \”City of Portland outside of the City Center\”? Or is \”City Center\” a subset of the \”City of Portland,\” as it is conceptually?

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  • Lance P. June 13, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I\’m a little offended. I live in City Center and I am very much apart of Portland.

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  • Steve Hoyt-McBeth June 13, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I believe that PBA\’s report is for the Central City – which here includes the central eastside. Rose Quarters/Trail Blazers are on their top 10 list of largest employers.

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  • Mike M June 13, 2008 at 11:37 am

    a.O, (2)

    If you add up all the percentages, they equal 100%. It sounds like City Center is being counted separately from City of Portland.

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  • Racer X June 13, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Well after looking at the demographics…I guess the hords of Clark County workers do not have the higher paying jobs in the city center (5%)…or else they are taking the express bus into work.

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  • ambrown June 13, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Is the city center the Interstate loop? as in, would NW portland be considered Portland-in-general?

    Also, When you consider that 28% of employees live in Washington, Clark, and Clackamas Counties, where geography, density and distance has varying limits on access to public transit and safe bike routes, and we still have 6% biking and 41% using transit, that\’s fairly impressive, IMO.

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  • Racer X June 13, 2008 at 11:53 am

    And it looks like most of those cars coming into the city center are from those \’better planned\’ exurban sprawl zones of Washington and Clackamas Counties. ;-0

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  • PdxMark June 13, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    A teminology comment. Going from 5% to 6% is a 20% increase in the number of people who go by bike. The 1% number relates to the change in the number of bike commuters among ALL the people who work downtown.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) June 13, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    \”Going from 5% to 6% is a 20% increase in the number of people who go by bike. \”

    thanks for pointing that out pdxmark.

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  • Matthew Denton June 13, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Washington County starts at about west 65th street, so if you work on the west side of the river (downtown proper) you can be just as close to your job as someone that lives on east 30th, but not technically in city limits. Of course, it is a lot harder to ride your bike from there…

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  • Lance P June 13, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Regarding #11,

    West 65th st to city center is well over 3 times the distance as 30th st. on the east side. Blocks on the west side are very suburban and blocks on the east are more livable.

    the distance from 30th and Burnside to 5th and Burnside is the same as 5th & Burnside and dead center of the forest park boundary.

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  • Matthew Denton June 13, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    \”West 65th st to city center is well over 3 times the distance as 30th st. on the east side. Blocks on the west side are very suburban and blocks on the east are more livable.\”

    While I agree that the land has been divided differently, there are approximately 18 numbered street \”opportunities\” per mile in the metro area. In some places there are more than 18 streets per mile so there is a \”29th street\”, and then a \”29th place\”, and then a \”30th street\”, and in other places there are less than 18 streets per mile leading to a \”182nd street\” and then \”185th street\” with nothing in between. But in any case, W 185th in Beaverton and E 185th in Gresham are both 10 miles from the river.

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  • John Russell June 14, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Matthew, if you use Google Earth to measure, one would find that, in Portland, there are 20 blocks to the mile. You were pretty close, but 20 works a bit better so far as multiples and divisors go.
    In some places in Vancouver, however, it is 18 blocks to the mile before standardizing at 20 blocks. Maybe it\’s the same out west, but I don\’t live there, so I wouldn\’t know.

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  • Racer X June 14, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Generally Vancouver has the 20 blocks per mile address structure too.

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  • Matthew Denton June 15, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    20 makes a lot more sense, thank you. I was just kind of eyeballing it. (And then I was trying to figure out where the 18 came from because it seemed like an odd number.)

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