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Bike Commutes at a Ten-Year Low in Seattle

Commute trips by bike are flat in Seattle, despite investments in high quality infrastructure. The city will have to do more for bikes to cut into the overall share of commute trips in the city of Seattle.
October 2, 2018, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Gene Balk writes a column that begrudgingly acknowledges a troubling trend for bike advocates in Seattle: according to Census data, bike commuting is at a ten-year low in the city.

Last year, just 2.8 percent of workers who reside in the city of Seattle commuted to work by bicycle as their primary mode of transportation most days. That’s down from 3.5 percent in 2016, a statistically significant decline. And remarkably, you have to go all the back to 2007 to find a lower number — it was 2.3 percent that year.

What's troubling, writes Balk, is that the city has been investing in its bike infrastructure in the hopes of making biking a more attractive option.

It should be noted that the city of Seattle has achieved unparalleled success in the U.S. for reducing the share of solo car commuters and increasing the number of riders on buses and trains, so the city does have a track record of public transportation investments paying off in reduced car trips.

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Published on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 in The Seattle Times
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