Fast facts on bike commuting


Bicyclists and pedestrians in Copenhagen, where more than half of all commuters arrive at work on a pair of (unmotorized) wheels. In large U.S. cities, the number is closer to 5 percent. Photo by Justin Swan/flickr.

April 30, 2014

12 things you may not have known about bikes, bike lanes, and your odds of getting hit by a car.

Main story: Building bike commuters one bike lane at a time

Bike delivery-300

By Brian Bienkowski
The Daily Climate

Every year since 2003, the Alliance for Biking and Walking has taken the pulse of efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian options within communities nationwide. The 2014 report, Bicycling and Walking in the United States, runs 268 pages. Here are some tidbits:

1. 1 percent of all trips taken in the United States are by bicycle; 10.4 percent are on foot.

2. Of commuters nationwide, 2.8 percent get to work by walking and 0.6 percent travel via bicycle. 

3. These numbers are slightly higher in large U.S. cities (5 percent and 1 percent, respectively).

4. In Copenhagen 52 percent commute by bike, with commuters traveling an aggregate of 745,000 miles every day.

5. Since 2010, 11 states and 12 of the nation's 52 most populous cities have added new goals to increase bicycling and walking or to decrease bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. 

6. 52 of the most populous cities have a combined total of more than 8,600 miles of bicycle lanes.

7. Amount of federal money spent, per person, on highway and road projects in 2012: $127.00

8. Federal money spent, per person, on biking and pedestrian projects in 2012: $3.10


9. Since 1980, the national pedestrian fatality rate fell from 3.6 deaths per 100,000 people to 1.4 per 100,000. Detroit and Jacksonville, Fla., with more than 4 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people in 2011, have the highest fatality rates in the nation.

10. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made biking a priority, adding more than 300 miles of bike lanes in his 12 years in office.

11. The 10 square miles of Davis, Calif. – consistently ranked as the most bike-friendly city in the county – has more than 100 miles of bike lanes

12. Copenhagen and Amsterdam combined have 490 miles. 

Brian Bienkowski is a staff writer for The Daily Climate and its sister publication, Environmental Health News. Follow him on Twitter @BrianBienkowski.

Photo of a bike delivery in NYC courtesy J&R Music/flickr. Bike lane in Davis, Calif., courtesy Phillip Baron/flickr.

The Daily Climate is an independent, foundation-funded news service covering energy, the environment and climate change. Find us on Twitter @TheDailyClimate or email editor Douglas Fischer at dfischer [at]

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