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Facts & Figures
How many bicycles are sold each year? Why do people ride? What are the numbers on bicycling crashes? Find answers to these and other questions by clicking on the links below.
Bicycling in America 2002 - 2003 (PDF)
Bicycle Helmet Use Laws 2004 (PDF)
1.who is riding and where?
City by city data on bicycle commuters and miles of bike lanes and paths, from the 2009 American Community survey. Find your city and see how it ranks among 244 of the country's largest cities and communities.
For older information also see the 2008 American Community Survey - Bicycle Commuting Trends, 2000 to 2008
The 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors was sponsored by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Bureau of Transportation Statistics in order to gauge pedestrian and bicyclists trips, behaviors, and attitudes.
According to the survey, approximately 57 million people, 27.3% of the population age 16 or older, rode a bicycle at least once during the summer of 2002. The survey breaks this down by gender, age, and race/ethnicity.
2. Bike to Work Week 2008 City stats
New York City
According the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2000, 0.47 percent (15,024 of 3,192,070) of all workers over 16 years used a bicycle as a means of transportation to work in New York City, up from 0.41 percent in 1990 (9,643 of 3,183,088) (U.S. Census Bureau, 1990, 2000). In 2005, the percentage of workers bicycling to work increased to 0.50 percent (17,146 of 3,429,194) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 reflecting a nearly 78 percent increase in the number of people who commute to work by bicycle in the past 15 years.
The most long-standing gauge for measuring bicycle use in Portland is the number of bicycle trips across the four bicycle-friendly bridges (soon to be 5 bicycle-friendly bridges) over the Willamette River (Hawthorne, Burnside, Steel, and Broadway bridges). The number of cyclists crossing these four bridges has soared, displaying a one-year increase of 21 percent since 2006 and more than 115 percent since 2001. Today, cyclists account for more than 16,700 daily trips across the Willamette River to travel between Portlandís east and west sides. Bicycles represent 20 percent of all vehicles on the Hawthorne Bridge and 13 percent of vehicles on all four bridges.
Cambridge, Mass. has had a 70 percent increase in five years. Click here to view graph of Cambridge bicycle counts.
3. Other national transportation-related surveys that include bicycling
United States Census, 1990 & 2000
Percent of Trips Made by Length (in miles) & Mode:
Percent of all Trips Made by distance (in miles):
The BTS survey found that in February 2003, of the 20.9 million people riding bicycles the majority reported doing so for exercise/health (41 percent) and recreation (37 percent). Only 5 percent reported commuting to work by bicycle as the primary use of the bicycle during the previous 30 days.
According to the Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, the total US Bicycle Market rose from 15.2 million on 1997 to 16.6 million in 2001. The worsening economy hit the bike market hard in 2001, decreasing from its height in the last five years of 20.6 million in 2000 to 16.6 million in 2001.
Source: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
More than 20 million new bikes were sold in 2000, a record high. Throughout the 1990s, sales averaged more than 16 million bikes per year, including more than 11 million “adult” bicycles. The bicycle industry generated sales totaling $5.89 billion in 2000. More than 5,400 specialty bicycle dealers and 1,000 companies are involved in the manufacture, distribution, and sales of bicycles in the United States.
In 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 728 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles and 45,000 were injured. These numbers represent 2 percent of the total number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes. In 2000, the number of fatalities dipped below the 700 mark for the first time in the past decade. Recent data also shows that there has been a 14% reduction in fatalities among cyclists between 1997 and 2007.: Source : National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF)
In 2001, the average age of cyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles was 36.0 years, up from 28.1 years in 1990. Most of those killed in 2001 were male (91 percent) and between the ages of 5 and 44 (65 percent).
The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the comprehensive cost of each person killed in a traffic crash to be $2,900,000 (2000 dollars). Multiplying this number by the 728 bicyclists killed in 2000 totals $2.1 billion.
A 1991 study, The Costs of Highway Crashes by the Urban Institute and Federal Highway Administration, calculated the average nonfatal injury cost per person involved in a motor vehicle crash. In 2000 dollars, the average nonfatal injury cost per person involved in a motor vehicle crash is $61,375. Multiplying this number by the 51,000 reported injury crashes in 2000 totals $3.1 billion.
In 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported an estimated 7,076,000 "larceny/thefts" of which 4.1 percent, or approximately 290,000, accounted for bicycle thefts. The average value of a stolen bicycle was estimated at $318, giving a total estimated loss due to bicycle thefts of approximately $92.3 million. The National Bike Registry estimates that the FBI only hears about one-third of the bicycles stolen each year.
The Omnibus Survey completed for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in February 2003 asked all respondents how safe they felt using different modes of transport. When asked:
How satisfied are you with how your local community is designed for making bike riding safe?
In the years before passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), Federal spending on bicycling and walking facilities was approximately $4-6 million per annum. ISTEA was reauthorized when the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) was enacted on June 9, 1998, which authorized Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 6-year period from 1998-2003. By FY 2002 spending of Federal funds by States has grown to more $416 million.
In September 2003 The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (SAFETEA) will go into effect. SAFETEA’s goal is to make “substantial improvements in the safety of the Nation's surface transportation” by more than doubling “funding for highway safety improvements over TEA-21 levels through a new core highway safety infrastructure program in lieu of the existing Surface Transportation Program safety set-aside.”