Regardless of the cause or causes, the reduction in the rate is a good thing. That the rate reduction is enough to fully offset the increased numbers is an especially good thing,because it proves that there are ways to make bicycling safer. Of course there'll be endless debate about what accounts for the improvement.
ACS census numbers (see links and posts above) because it's the only metric that is widely available in the USA.Quote:
What exactly are you using as your formula for "mode share"?
Add in noisy numbers (+/- 15% for Portland, +/- 30% and higher for Boston), and you can make whatever meaning you'd like from the numbers. The numbers are barely statistically meaningful, so make up a fact, whatever you'd like. That's the brilliance of some of the ACS numbers, like bike mode share.
The magnitude of the MOE still covers the differences some of us are citing. The semi-controlled comparison numbers I cited a page ago won't support making up facts. 2012: 4.5% +/- 0.8% MOE is larger than 2005: 2.4% +/- .5% --that's real data, and real growth. And, as I alluded to, I suspect that a lot of that MOE is month-of-year variation due to climate--the ACS is conducted every month, so Minneapolis, and other leading cycling areas, probably show lots of variance, but probably also approach or exceed double digit mode share in good weather in some areas . Yes, there is longitudinal variation. Yes, the numbers are still small. But there are data that need to be interpreted, not dismissed. I realize this is A&S, but numbers matter, too.
Here's the page linking to the study and all the raw data. Check it out!
The anti-cyclist ones permeate American society without being any specific group; that is why it has proved so difficult to get repeal of the anti-cyclist traffic laws (FTR, MBL, MPL), and why there is political support for the bikeway program that restricts cyclists' use of the roadway. One might say that these people constitute motordom, which is a convenient designation for their typical policies.
The anti-motoring activists are primarily motivated by reducing motoring, but they have to have a substitute for that which they hope to replace. The substitutes that they favor are bicycle transport implemented by bikeways, mass transit, and urban densification. They tend to evaluate their agenda by the amount of motoring its actions may displace, rather than by the amount of good that is done for cyclists. They make sufficient political noise that they manage to control the government's program for bicycle transportation, so that the self-serving motorist anti-cyclist aspects of that program are concealed behind a smokescreen of claims of social improvement, patriotism, and similar.
The pro-cyclist activists are concerned with the welfare of those who choose to cycle, with welfare being considered primarily by the standard transportation criteria of safety and convenience for those who choose to cycle. Quite clearly, these are only a small minority of the population, even of the bicycling population, but their activity is vital for preserving, against the opposition of the anti-cyclists and the negligent indifference of the anti-motorists, the operating rights which all cyclists need at times and places.
The idea of sitting around a city waiting for the next economic downturn hoping for an uptick in cyclists while riding on what sounds like a mess of poor infrastructure, presided over by Copenhaginistas forcing inadequate segregated bike paths down an unwilling populace's throats surrounded by cadres of simmering suburban motorists is not appealing.
And riding on jammed infrastructure, which Bcarfree claims "intimidates, maims and kills", amidst a herd of smugly dissatisfied bicyclists feels like an Orwellian nightmare. I'll take the Utopic, pie in the sky, enthusiasm of a city like NY, Minneapolis or Boston any day.
What in the world makes it such an awesome city to ride in?
These are good questions and, while perhaps off topic, are worth considering.
There is a certain complexity to this issue and it seems complexity doesn't lend itself to forum discussions.
I'll take a stab at this with as basic a response as I can.
#1 attributing too much weight to certain economic factors as a motivation for cycling can be misleading. I say this because the demographic of bike riders both recreational and those who commute tend to be in the higher economic brackets. They are often the people least affected by a rise in gas prices. In fact, look at the cities with higher bike shares. look at the cities adding bike infrastructure. It is the cities with the higher than average incomes. It's not like we're hearing America's poorer neighborhoods screaming for bike paths and lanes and watching streams of people pouring in and out of those neighborhoods on bikes. As popular as bike share programs are they are having difficulty taking off in economically deprived communities even when placed there.
#2 It's possible the greatest motivating factor for riding a bike is its appeal to the young at heart, those who are physically motivated and enthusiastic about life. It is part of an appealing "lifestyle". Our cities are becoming social centers. Dave Cutter rightly points out in a post that our cities are changing from centers of commerce and business as we go increasingly virtual. What the thriving American cities are doing are becoming social centers. Mayors are revitalizing cities by adding theaters and art centers, building parks and open spaces, making cites more walkable, bike able. This is happening world wide- because it works. Paris took an old abandoned rail line and turned into a pedestrian walkway. NYC has done the same thing. NYC ripped down an old highway and got rid of crappy old buildings along the river, threw down some pavement and suddenly the waterfront comes to life- CHEAP with a big payoff!
And here's where economics comes in. Often this takes place during an economic downturn. Why? Because these are actually less expensive ways of keeping people happy. Believe it or not when you look at the budget of big cities turning a couple of empty lots into a park or an abandoned building into a theatre or repaving a street and putting down some bikes lanes or turning an abandoned rail bed thru the city into a bike path are relatively cheap ways to make citizens happy. These kinds of changes are a form of stimulus to the economy. Build a theatre and two or three restaurants will follow. As will an increase in nearby property values. make it all easy to walk and bike around and it's even more pleasant and drives values up higher.
#3 Bike riders are not driving these changes. In fact, they are barely a voice. It's why it would be better for cyclists to present a more unified voice or simply each of us go rogue and join whatever group more closely represents our needs. Bike infrastructure is being built to satisfy what has become an attractive lifestyle. And, it is. It's a much more livable city when you aren't dodging 4000 pounds of glass and metal every time you want a cup of coffee. It's a quieter city, too. Less congested, less stress, cleaner, better air, less pollution. Lots of payoffs.
Please list the infrastructure with dates opened each year from 1997 to 2004 (pics would be very helpful).
Please provide the crash reporting criteria and changes by year for reporting criteria. As an example, SFPD will not take a report anymore unless the cyclist is taken away in an ambulance. Honolulu Police use to take reports if the damage exceeded $1,000, then it changed to $3,000 and now I believe it is only required if there is an injury or if traffic is blocked. Imagine how those changes in reporting criteria would impact a graph such as yours.
7-501.01 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORTS 09/03/03) (05/29/09)
A Traffic Accident Report shall be completed for motor vehicle accidents involving personal injury, a City vehicle, or combined property damage amounting to over $1,000.
Officers shall directly enter all accident reports into the State of Minnesota Online Accident Reporting System, unless the system is down. When entering the report into the system, officers shall use a 10-digit case number format (example: MP03-123456).
The $1000 threshold went into effect in 1994. Before that it was $500. Not only are police obligated to report, in Minnesota drivers of motor vehicles are obligated to file a report with the department of public safety if there is personal injury or damages exceeding $1000.
If there is no personal injury or if the damage to personal property is less than $1000 then you have the option of making an online report. http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/poli...port/index.htm I don't know when this option went into effect. If anything, it may help increase reporting of incidents.
Of course, for a variety of reasons many accidents don't end up being reported.
As far as how the data was gathered for the reports, links provided in the report describe the data gathering process and methodology.
Now go back at the OP and look at the Portland ACS data and add in the margin of error. Again, all you can really say is there are more primary bicycle commuters in Portland since 2008 than 2005. However, the change of commuters since 2008 is small compared to the margin of error, which is large! We can't say if it is flat, increasing, or decreasing. Panic over not knowing from the ACS? Or use other, more precise numbers that Portland collects?
The Boston ACS numbers are even more all over the place, and other than there are more cyclists commuting primarily by bicycle than in 2005, there's not much more to say. But local measurements tell the story.
That's my only point.
Oh, did I mention that bicycle parking at Alewife went from 200 unsecured, to 300 secured/200 unsecured, to 450 secured/200 unsecured?
Yes Virginia, if you build it, they will come.