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Census Data: Richmond Tops Virginia Cities in Bike Commuting

Data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show that Richmond leads Virginia cities in bike commuting, with 2.2% of workers getting to work by bike. This makes Richmond 42nd out of the 375 cities reporting, notably just behind Santa Monica, CA.

Next on the Virginia list are Arlington at 1.4%, Norfolk and Virginia Beach at 0.8%, and Alexandria at 0.7%.

Thanks to the League of American Bicyclists for reporting and commenting on the data, and for making a nice spreadsheet available.

The League notes that communities doing the most to promote bicycling have shown the biggest increases in bike commuting, over the last decade. (Arlington is a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community.) Richmond is well on its way, with the recent formation of the Mayor’s Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Trails Commission, the hiring of Jake Helmboldt as the city’s bike-ped coordinator, 80 miles of sharrows and bike lanes soon to be added, and several major trail projects in the works; not to mention preparing for the 2015 World Championships. The League also notes:

Richmond has a unique opportunity to put itself permanently on the map as a great cycling city — as a destination and a more livable and sustainable city — by using the excitement and urgency of the world championships coming to town.

We think so too. Could Richmond be the Portland (6.0%) of the East? Why not the Boulder (9.9%) of the East?

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3 comments… add one

  • I would like to see more bike lanes. I was recently hit on Forest Hill Ave while commuting to work. I have suffred an injuried hip and a broken scapula. It seems silly to me the city is still “talking” about bike lanes. Really, what does it take?

  • Unfortunately, due to government procurement processes it takes time.

    The funds for Richmond’s sharrow project become available October 1. The project is currently being spec’d, engineers are reviewing the routes, contracts signed, etc.

    I know that isn’t what you want to hear, but the good news is – weather cooperating – we expect to see things change in the Spring of 2012.

  • Richmond is ok as a biking city, they have really tried with curb ramps and filling in the huge tire killing potholes that trap the unaware cyclist, but there is one place to avoid-Carytown. If you ride on the sidewalk and are going along with the pedestrian flow, not charging down the sidewalk like some careless people do, but are yielding to pedestrians, hell, just pushing your bike along with your feet, some well-to-do person (usually white male) will give you a public lecture about how it is illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk. It would be most helpful if the city would set up signs in Carytown so all could see the rules for themselves. Sure, I ride the street whenever possible but Cary Street has no bike lane or any room whatsoever due to parked cars right next to the traffic flow and the alleys have their own little surprises-potholes. Big tire busting ones. Sure, everyone is entitled to his/hers/its own opinion but only in Carytown will you get a silly lecture.

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