Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May is National Bike Month

With Summer upon us, many people will begin riding their bikes to work, as well as other places. After all, the good people at the League of American Bicyclists have designated May as National Bike Month. In fact, next week is Bike to Work Week (May 13-17) and Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 17.

In addition to Nation Bike Month, the League is also a supporter of  the Bicycle Friendly America (BFA) program. The program provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling. In addition, the BFA’s Bicycle Friendly State Program ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness. States receive feedback, technical assistance, training and further encouragement to improve their bicycling legislation, projects, and programs. To see how New York State ranks nationally, click on the chart below.

Click to Enlarge
The American Communities Survey (ACS) tells us quite a bit about those who bike to work in our area. While the data for bicyclists is combined with those that take motorcycles and those that ride taxis, it still suggests some interesting patterns among those that take these non-traditional means to work. Here are just a few of the things you can find out about those who bicycle to work in our region from the ACS:

  • While not very many people use bikes to get to and from work, the local use rate is about half of what the New York State rate is (one half a percent of the workforce in NYS bike to work versus a quarter of a percent of the workforce in the Herkimer-Oneida Counties region).
  • While most of those that ride bikes to work are between the ages of 25 to 44, slightly more young people ride bikes regionally (20% of those under the age of 25) than do young people across the state (15% of those under the age of 25 in the state).
  • About 8% of the local workforce over the age of 16 that ride bikes to work are foreign born. And about 7% of bike riders speak some other language than English.
  • Almost half of all bike riders in our region (44%) live in households where the income level is less than $25,000.
  • Persons who ride their bikes to work in our area are almost three times as likely to live in poverty than those that use other means of getting to work (16.4% of bike riders versus 5.9% of all others).
  • The three most common types of work settings that bike riders head to are: manufacturing jobs; education, health care and social assistance jobs; and arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food service jobs.
  • More than a quarter of those that ride their bikes to work head to local, state or federal government jobs.
  • The peak period when bike riders head to work is between 7 and 7:30 A.M.; the second busiest time for people biking to work is from 6 to 6:30 A.M.
  • Almost half  (45%) of all people who bike to work spend less than 15 minutes pedaling to the job. Another 30% spend between 15 minutes and half and hour. But nearly 10% spend more than an hour biking to work when they ride.
  • One third of all bike riders are renters.
  • While a quarter of all people who bike to work have no other vehicle in the household, 55% report that they have multiple vehicles available at home. 

 These and other statistics from the ACS can be found by using the American Fact Finder at the US Census Bureau website.