Over 158,000 Seattleites ride bikes!

In late September 2013, SDOT conducted its third Bicycle Participation Phone Survey of Seattle residents age 16 and older. To improve the quality of the data, a sampling of cell phones was called. This is significant because 29 percent of respondents said they only have a cell phone. New questions were also added asking why residents don’t have access to a working bicycle.

bikedata_clip_pie image002The core findings remain largely the same as in 2011 and 2012. One change of note is that 50 percent of the respondents have access to a working bicycle up from 40 percent in 2012. It is not yet clear if this is a trend or a result of sample variance. The survey shows that about 29 percent of the population over 16 (or about 158,000 residents) ride a bicycle at least occasionally. Of these, approximately 97,000 are regular riders, riding a few times a month or more.

The survey findings show that most bicycle trips are five miles or less. This is especially true for destination riders, where 65 percent of their trips are five miles or less. 2013 showed a significant increase in the number of people biking who said they mostly use arterial streets with bike lanes, up six percent to 37 percent of people biking.

bikedata_clip_imagecomparison004 RESIZED“Don’t feel safe” surpassed weather as the most common reason those with access to a working bicycle don’t ride more often. Concern about safety was the reason 35 percent of destination riders said they don’t ride more often. This was 17 percentage points higher than the percent of recreational riders, who ride more often on off street trials, and answered the reason they don’t ride more often is because they don’t feel safe.

For more details please see the Bicycle Data webpage.

Seattle has the vision of making riding a bike a comfortable and integral part of daily life for people of all ages and abilities. For more information, you may want to read the Bicycle Master Plan Update and ou can also visit our web pages on Neighborhood Greenways and Cycle Tracks, also known as protected bike lanes.