Friday, January 30, 2015

Census Bureau App Tracks Bicycle Commuting Numbers

The Census Bureau recently released a web application that provides commuter mode share information (the percentage of travelers or number of trips using a particular type of transportation), including bicycle and walking commuting numbers, for each state, county, and census tract in the country. Not surprisingly, the map shows that bicycling in the Washington metro area is concentrated in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown D.C., Capitol Hill, and North Arlington. Census tracts in Fairfax County show that areas abutting major facilities such as the W&OD and Mt. Vernon Trails tend to have higher levels of bicycling than the surrounding suburban tracts.

Submitted by Steven Ward, FABB

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Interesting, but when I do my neighborhood area it says 0 people bike to work. I bike to work, I see a guy (presumably a teacher or administrator) frequently biking to the local high school, and I see one other guy bike a few streets over. So I'm guessing survey methodology isn't as accurate as I previously thought.
I think Census bike commuting data grossly under-counts bike trips in an area. From what I recall, in order to be counted as a bike commuter you must travel by bike 3 or more times a week year round. I also think the question is only asked of a sample of the population.

This one reason that Fairfax needs to implement a bike counting program like Arlington has done.

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