- The Bike Bowl: College Towns Surge Ahead in Bike Commuting
The Bike Bowl: College Towns Surge Ahead in Bike Commuting
College towns, like Iowa City, have seen more bike commuting over the last few years. Iowa City has over 1,500 biking commuters, and their bike share has grown 1.6 percent since 2000. Check out this blog from DC Street Blog on college town biking.
It’s college football bowl time. That once meant the renewal of age-old rivalries, and nowhere more so than in the Rose Bowl, which traditionally pitted the winner of Midwest-based Big 10 conference with the winner of the Pacific 8 (or 10, or 12).
Over the last decade, however, the Big 10 and Pac 12 have been waging another kind of competition — for leadership in the integration of bicycling into campus life.
Back in November, the folks at the U.S. Department of Transportation who put out the useful Census Transportation Planning Products posted a list of the 30 counties and “places” that have experienced the greatest increases in commuting by bicycle, by foot, and by public transportation between the 2000 Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey.
College towns dominate the list of places with the greatest surge in bike commuting (see full list after the jump). Many college towns have long been bastions of bike travel, but the dramatic increase in bike commuting in many of those towns suggests that there is still room to grow, and that efforts to promote bicycling can make a difference. Many of the schools on the list of those with the greatest growth in bike commuting are also on the League of American Bicyclists’ list of “Bicycle Friendly Universities.”
Unfortunately, the Census Bureau only collects data on travel to work, which means that the figures below do not capture travel by students without jobs or those using bikes for recreational trips or errands. Still, the dramatic increase in bicycle travel in college towns is significant. It saves campuses the expense of building new roads and parking structures to accommodate vehicles for students and staff. It provides working students with a first taste of what bicycle commuting is like, creating the possibility that they will look for opportunities to continue to travel by bike post-graduation. And the presence of a bike-friendly campus in a city can create a foundation for making the entire community more accessible to bicycles.
For more information and numbers on Big 10 and Pac 12 biking, click here for the original story.
SOURCE: Published on DC Streets Blog, by Tony Dutzik.