Monday, July 14, 2008

How many people commute by bike in Louisville?

Lots of folks have been asking lately, "Are more people biking to work now in Louisville?" Nobody has the data to know. Bicycling for Louisville did a bicycle traffic study for Louisville Metro government last year, but we don't have follow-up data to see how things have changed. KIPDA, which oversees transportation planning in our region, conducts a household travel survey every ten years. The most recent data, from 2000, showed that literally nobody rode bicycles to work! Obviously, they missed a few of us... Again, we lack follow-up data to identify trends.

My eyeballs tell me that both recreational and transportation bicycling are increasing rapidly. This morning on my 5-mile commute to work, I counted five other bicyclists. At least four of them looked to be commuting to work. Even two years ago, I rarely saw as many as two other bicyclists on the same route that I rode today. Nowadays, I usually see two or three other bicyclists as I ride to work.

Yesterday (Sunday) evening, my wife and I took a tandem ride through Seneca and Cherokee Parks and then along Beargrass Creek Trail before turning back for a slightly longer route home. Along the way, we saw dozens of bicyclists and only a few motorists. I think this was the first time in my 17 years in Louisville of seeing more bicyclists on the roads than motor vehicles, in the absence of a group bike ride. A summer Sunday evening with perfect weather brings out bicyclists, but I had never before experienced this in Louisville - probably twice as many bikes as cars and trucks on the roads!


Michelle said...

Were you on a recumbent tandem bike? I'd never seen one before and drove past a couple on one last evening in Seneca Park.

dave said...

How often do we commute by bicycle before we count?

I've been riding into downtown from Charlestown (16 miles) 1 to 2 days per week.

I love the ride, and get exercise, but it's too far for my fat self to do too often.

Joe said...

My own observations certainly concur with yours. Bicycle commuting must be on the rise. Maybe if we had data to show the trend, Metro would realize the critical need for more public education for motorists (and bicyclists) regarding bicycle transportation safety. Sharing the roads with dangerous, uninformed, and careless motorists is by far the worst part of my 14 mile commute to work.

Tex69 said...

Great to have a new blog from the 'Ville. I've been commuting for 12 yrs now (at least in fall/winter) and I love seeing more folks on the road on 2 self-powered wheels. Places like Minneapolis and Portland have both more active bike cultures and more active bike blog cultures. The more the merrier, and the more info and inspiration to help folks kick the oil habit.