College Towns Provide a Master Class in Bike-Friendliness

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that college towns are even better at encouraging bicycle commuting than the most notable big cities (Portland, Seattle, etc); even when excluding commuting for school. What's their secret?

1 minute read

November 25, 2013, 6:00 AM PST

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


"Here's a secret you won't hear often: The United States has many cities where biking is far more popular than in Portland," writes Michael Andersen. "They're called college towns. And it's time for urban planners to stop ignoring how well they work and start learning from them."

College towns such as Davis (19.1%), Boulder (12.1%) and Palo Alto (9.5%) have percentages of workers commuting by bike that put cities such as Portland (6%) to shame. Andersen reviews some of the lessons that college towns can offer their big city brethren:

  • Universities breed 20-minute neighborhoods
  • Universities create car-free spaces
  • Universities use public spaces to enable density
  • Universities charge for auto parking

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 in BikePortland.org

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