Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on September 19th, 2013 at 3:13 pm
Portland’s hard-won status as “America’s bike capital” hasn’t looked less secure since it claimed the title in 2005.
The number of Portlanders who get to work primarily by bike was statistically unchanged in 2012, ticking from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent of the city’s working population. Across the whole Portland metro area, bike use held at 2.3 percent.
Of the 25,000 net new workers in the metro area last year, the number of bike commuters only grew by 376, according to Census estimates. Inside city limits, the estimated number of bike commuters actually fell by 65, to 18,912.
Those figures are far within the Census survey’s margin of error. But the rises in biking last year in Minneapolis and Seattle, the country’s No. 2 and No. 3 large bike cities, weren’t.
Minneapolis’ bike mode share jumped from 3.4 to 4.5 percent, the sort of increase Portland hasn’t seen since the 2007 gas spike. Seattle’s rose from 3.5 to 4.1 percent. In each of those cities, the bike-commuting population grew by about 3,000 workers. If that absolute growth continued this year, Seattle — a somewhat larger city — may already have more total bike commuters than Portland does.