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A vibrant Seattle through transportation excellence Interim Director, Goran Sparrman

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Bicycle Data

Over 158,000 Seattleites ride bikes!

In late September 2013, SDOT conducted its third Bicycle Participation Phone Survey of Seattle residents age 16 and older. To improve the quality of the data, a sampling of cell phones was called. This is significant because 29 percent of respondents said they only have a cell phone. New questions were also added asking why residents don’t have access to a working bicycle.

The core findings remain largely the same as in 2011 and 2012. One change of note is that 50 percent of the respondents have access to a working bicycle up from 40 percent in 2012. It is not yet clear if this is a trend or a result of sample variance. The survey shows that about 29 percent of the population over 16 (or about 158,000 residents) rides a bicycle at least occasionally. Of these approximately 97,000 are regular riders, riding a few times a month or more.

The survey findings show that most bicycle trips are five miles or less. This is especially true for destination riders, where 65 percent of their trips are five miles or less. 2013 showed a significant increase in the number of people biking who said they mostly use arterial streets with bike lanes, up six percent to 37 percent of people biking.

“Don’t feel safe” surpassed weather as the most common reason those with access to a working bicycle don’t ride more often. Concern about safety was the reason 35 percent of destination riders said they don’t ride more often. This was 17 percentage points higher than the percent of recreational riders, who ride more often on off street trials, answered the reason they don’t ride more often is because they don’t feel safe.

Click here to view the summary report of the highlights from the 2013 survey, including comparisons on key questions to previous years’ surveys. Click here to view the complete cross tabulated results of the 2013 Bicycle Participation Phone Survey.

Seattle has the vision of making riding a bike a comfortable and integral part of daily life for people of all ages and abilities. Read the Bicycle Master Plan Update and visit our Neighborhood Greenways and Cycle Tracks, also known as protected bike lanes, web pages to learn more about how we are doing this. We also collect bike counts at nine different locations throughout the city. Data is updated regularly and is used to help assess if we are reaching our goal of quadrupling ridership by 2030.

2012 Citywide Bicycle Counts

In 2011 SDOT began a new systematic bicycle counts program that uses National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation (NBPD) methodology to count bicycles (and pedestrians) at 50 locations citywide, four times a year. Click here to see a map of the count locations. These counts are conducted quarterly in January, May, July, and September. Each quarter counts are collected for PM peak (5-7pm), off peak (10am-noon), and Saturday (noon -2pm) time periods at each location. This adds up to 600 counts per year.

The 2012 results are compared to the 2011 counts in the adjacent comparison chart. Overall the number of cyclists counted increased 4.7% from 2011 to 2012 at the count locations (excluding the N 34th and Fremont Ave N location that had a count error in 2011). Click here to open a spreadsheet showing the quarterly totals by location, the percent change by location, and the absolute change by location between 2011 and 2012.

Results for each location by time period are available in the quarterly spreadsheets below as well as in a spreadsheet showing a summation of 2012 counts by location:

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2012 Bicycle Participation Survey

SDOT conducted its first Bicycle Participation phone survey in 2011. Input related to the update of the Bicycle Master Plan led to new questions being added to the 2012 survey; asking how far cyclists ride, what facilities they use, and reasons for not riding more. Basic questions on who has access to a bicycle, how often respondents rode their bicycles, and for what purpose they rode, did not change by statistically significant amounts form the 2011 survey results; including the fact the about two thirds of cyclists are riding solely for recreation. Click here to view the presentation highlighting the key findings from the 2012 survey and showing a comparison of some results from 2011 and 2012. Click here for the complete cross tabulated results of the 2011 bicycle participation survey. Click here for the complete cross tabulated results of the 2012 bicycle participation survey. Please direct inquiries or questions regarding the bicycle participation surveys to Craig Moore: craig.moore@seattle.gov.

 

2011 Citywide Bicycle Counts

Click for largerIn 2011 SDOT began a new systematic bicycle counts program that uses National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation (NBPD) methodology to count bicycles (and pedestrians) at 50 locations citywide, four times a year. Click here to see a map of the count locations. These counts are conducted quarterly in January, May, July, and September. Each quarter counts are collected for PM peak (5-7pm), off peak (10am-noon), and Saturday (noon -2pm) time periods at each location. This adds up to 600 counts per year. The new counts program is more reliable and captures a broader snapshot of cycling than previous counts. Data from the 2011 counts is summarized in the adjacent graphs and in a presentation here that includes maps of the results.

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2011 Downtown Bicycle Count Results

Graph - click for largerSDOT conducted downtown bicycle counts on Wednesday, September 28th 2011.  Volunteers were out on the streets counting cyclists from 6:30 to 9:00 AM at 16 locations surrounding downtown. Click here to see a map of the count locations. NOTE: Historically SDOT counted at 29 locations surrounding downtown; in 2011, only locations expected to have 50 or more bicyclists were counted due to a lack of volunteers.

Please click here to see the 2011 count results, which compare the 2011 results with the results from downtown counts held in 2000, 2007, and 2009.

Bicycle Facts and Statistics

Estimated number of cyclists in the U.S. who bicycled to work at least once a week last year: 3.2 million

Percentage increase since 1985: 100

Estimated number of participants during Bike to Work Day in King County: 10,000+

Number of times cyclists put their bikes on Metro buses every year: 300,000+

Number of free Seattle Bicycling Guide Maps distributed annually: 25,000

Calories burned by a 130-pound cyclist pedaling 14 miles in an hour: 402

Calories burned by a 180-pound cyclist pedaling 14 miles in an hour: 540

Time to drive from University District to Pike Place Market in light traffic: 15 minutes

Driving time during rush hour: 35 minutes

Cycling time, moderate pace: 30 minutes

Time to park car: 5 - 25 minutes

Time to park and lock bike: 1 minute

Number of bikes which can be parked in one car parking space: 14

Number of bicycle racks on public sidewalks in Seattle: 2,800

Estimated construction of Park and Ride Costs: $17,000 per stall for surface lots, and $25,000 per stall for structured parking (per King County Transit Planning)

Number of miles cycled yearly by average bike commuter: 1,992

 


For more information about the Seattle Bicycle & Pedestrian Program, call (206) 684-7583.

   
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