statistics

Bike commuting growth slips and Portland adds 11,000 more commutes by car

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 14th, 2017 at 1:19 am

Hawthorne Bridge traffic observations-5.jpg

Auto congestion is one problem that isn’t able to solve itself.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

It’s not your imagination: auto traffic got worse in Portland last year.

One of the main reasons: it looks like almost none of the additional commutes that originated in Portland in 2016 happened on bikes, foot or public transit. Instead, of the 12,000 additional commutes Portland added in 2016, 11,000 happened in cars.

That’s according to the latest commuting estimates from the Census Bureau, at least. The citywide bike commuting rate slipped from an estimated 7 percent of commuters to 6.3 percent, the same biking rate estimated in 2011.

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25% of Portland metro residents say congestion could make them switch to biking

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 10th, 2017 at 9:31 am

Traffic leading onto the Hawthorne Bridge into downtown Portland yesterday afternoon.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In 2009, the City of Portland set a goal that many people considered fanciful: one in four trips by bike citywide by 2030.

Eight years later, that’s exactly the ratio of car-owners in the Portland metro area who claim they’d swap their car trips for bike trips “if traffic congestion gets bad enough.”

That ratio held across racial and ideological lines, and was only slightly lower in Clark County, Wash., than on the Oregon side of the metro area. But it wasn’t consistent by gender, age, income or education: women, older people, higher-income people and more educated people were less likely to say they’d switch to biking.

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Portland’s new surge in bike commuting is real – and it’s gas-price proof

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 15th, 2016 at 12:52 am

26749144791_02038b6a6b_h

Rush hour on Williams Avenue in May. Once again in 2015, 7 percent of Portlanders said their main commute to work is by bike.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Gas prices? What gas prices?

The great gasoline plunge of late 2014 hasn’t cut the rate of Portlanders biking to work, at least not in 2015.

In fact, drive-alone commuting among Portland residents hit a modern-day low last year — the fifth such record in six years — and public transit commuting jumped to a modern high of 13.4 percent.

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Crunching numbers: A closer look at Portland’s road fatality rates

by on August 19th, 2016 at 10:23 am

1996-2015 Portland traffic fatalities

Portland traffic fatalities, 1996-2015

The past few weeks have been especially bad in terms of road fatalities in Portland. Within nine days between July 30th and August 8th we had four fatalities, which prompted me to run the numbers- so by the time you’re reading this, they have gone up.

For the year to date as of August 9, we’ve had 28 fatalities. I took PBOT’s fatality data and crunched some numbers:
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Portland’s drop in car use frees up $138 million in our local economy every year

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 25th, 2016 at 11:12 am

Bike traffic on N Williams Ave-9.jpg

Per-person car ownership is down 7 percent since 2007 and miles driven are down 8 percent.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland unless noted)

Last month, we wrote about the 38,501 additional cars and trucks that would be in Multnomah County right now if its residents still owned cars at the rate they did in 2007.

What does it cost to own 38,501 cars? Or more to the point, what does it not cost to not own them?

For that post, we focused on the amount of space those nonexistent cars would take up. They’d fill a parking lot almost exactly the size of the central business district, for example.

But what about the money that isn’t being spent to move, maintain, insure and replace all those cars, and can therefore be spent on other things? How much money have Portlanders collectively saved by having a city where car ownership (or ownership of one car for each adult) feels less mandatory than it used to?

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New report shows Portland falling further behind peers on bikeway growth

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 21st, 2016 at 12:58 pm

growing bike networks

(Image: NACTO)

nacto report

While Portland celebrates a strong first day for Biketown, a new report about the factors that drive growth in bike sharing shows how Portland has fallen behind the leading U.S. cities in new infrastructure.

Minneapolis, New York City and San Francisco now have about 50, 20 and 15 percent more bikeways per square mile than Portland respectively, the report found. All three of those cities has seen faster bikeway growth than Portland since 2010, the year Portland passed its ambitious Bike Plan for 2030. In Minneapolis, bike infrastructure has grown three times faster.

These new figures were released Wednesday as part of a report by the National Association for City Transportation Officials, which examined the role quality bike networks play in making bike sharing safe and popular.

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Multnomah County’s drop in auto ownership since 2007 would fill 287 acres of parking

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 22nd, 2016 at 9:54 am

Everyone knows Multnomah County is growing, and that most new residents are buying or bringing in cars, too. In all, state records show, 8,709 more passenger vehicles are registered in the county than there were in 2007.

But a review of car registration statistics shows that if passenger vehicle ownership were still as popular in the county as it was in 2007, it would have had to find room for 47,210 more cars and trucks instead.

How many cars are we doing without? Well, if we built a parking lot to hold the 38,501 cars that didn’t show up and assumed a standard 325 square feet per space, we’d need about 287 acres of land. For the sake of scale, that’s everything between NE Killingsworth, Skidmore, Rodney and 16th:

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Even in suburban Oregon, drive-alone trips are a shrinking share of new commutes

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 17th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Beaverton to Tualatin ride-2

Bike commuter Jim Parsons in Washington County.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland metro area seems to have already discovered how to slow the growth of traffic congestion, the city’s bicycle planning coordinator said Friday. But it’s not investing in it very quickly.

Between 2000 and 2014, the three Oregon counties in the metro area added 122,000 new commuters. And inside the Metro urban growth boundary, less than half of that net growth came from people driving alone in cars.

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Six neat charts from Metro’s new report about Portland-area transportation

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 27th, 2016 at 9:59 am

Commute vs All Trips_0

We hear more often about commute trips, but people’s trips to stores, schools, parks and friends look quite a bit different.
(All charts via Metro)

Metro is the only elected regional government in the United States. It’s also got one of the most interesting government communications teams in the country. Like MLB.com, Metro hires people to write journalism-style coverage of itself.

For its latest project, a four-part “regional snapshot” about transportation, the agency pulled out all the stops: original tilt-shift photography, narrative video, text drawn from at least a dozen interviews and a whole quiver of custom-made infographics. If you want a single overview on the basics of the region’s transportation situation, I’ve never seen a better one.

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Low-income households drive much less than high-income households

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 25th, 2016 at 1:07 pm

miles driven

Source: 1995 National Household Travel Survey via Purdue University.

We’ve explored this issue various times over the years, but you often hear people claiming otherwise so let’s share the information in a new way.

It’s relevant as the city gets ready to vote on a 10-cent gas tax that would go toward slowing the crumbling of Portland’s streets and improving their safety.

Who pays gas taxes?

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