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How Bikes Exploded onto the D.C. Scene

A trio of local experts offers insight into how Washington, D.C. tripled bike mode share in a decade.
December 28, 2017, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Lissandra Melo

Andrew Small reports on the success of Washington, D.C. as a bike-friendly city, where people actually bike:

Cycling has taken off in the American capital. Nearly 17,000 cyclists regularly rode their bikes to work in Washington, D.C. in 2016, according to Census estimates, which is about 5 percent of the city’s commuters. That’s nearly triple the “mode share” it had in 2006, putting it in second place on the list of top biking cities in the U.S., just behind famously gear-friendly Portland, Oregon.

That explosive growth is the envy of bike advocates in car-oriented cities all over the United States, though D.C. still lags behind New York in total numbers, and it's worthy of a closer examination for lessons. Small traces the history of D.C.'s bike boom, though the adoption of the country's "first modern bikeshare system" to bike planning and project implementation. Insights are offered by Jim Sebastian, planner the District Department of Transportation, Nelle Pierson, a longtime bike advocate, and Sterling Stone, executive director of the non-profit bike shop Gearin’ Up Bicycles.

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Published on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 in CityLab
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