Tag Archives: In Print

Benchmarking Report (2012)

(US) Alliance for Biking and Walking Releases 2012 Benchmarking Report

The Alliance for Biking and Walking has released its comprehensive report on cycling and walking infastructure, funding, and safety for 2012. The report shows that increasing bicycling and walking are goals that are clearly in the public interest.

Where bicycling and walking levels are higher, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes levels are lower. Higher levels of bicycling and walking also coincide with increased bicycle and pedestrian safety and higher levels of physical activity. Increasing bicycling and walking can help solve many serious problems.

As this report indicates, many states and cities are making progress toward promoting safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians, but much more remains to be done.


Bicycling and Walking Levels

  • 12% of all trips are by bicycle (1.0%) or foot (10.5%).
  • From 2000 to 2009, the number of commuters who bicycle to work increased by 57%.
  • In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet Americans use their cars for 87% of trips 1 to 2 miles. Twenty-seven percent of trips are shorter than 1 mile, yet 62% of trips up to 1 mile long are by car. Residents of the largest U.S. cities are 1.7 times more likely to walk or bicycle to work than the national average

Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety

  • 14% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are bicyclists (1.8%) or pedestrians (11.7%).
  • In the 51 largest U.S. cities, 12.7% of trips are by foot and 1.1% are by bicycle, yet 26.9% of traffic fatalities are pedestrians and 3.1% are bicyclists.
Seniors are the most vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians. Adults over 65 make up 10% of walking trips, yet comprise 19% of pedestrian fatalities and make up 6% of bicycling trips, yet account for and 10% of bicyclist fatalities.

Public Health Benefits

Bicycling and walking levels fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased by 156%.
  • Between 1966 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children rose 276%.
In general, states with the highest levels of bicycling and walking have the lowest levels of obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes and have the greatest percentage of adults who meet the recommended 30-plus minutes per day of physical activity.

Economic Benefits

Bicycling and walking projects create 11-14 jobs per $1 million spent, compared to just 7 jobs created per $1 million spent on highway projects.
Cost benefit analyses show that up to $11.80 in benefits can be gained for every $1 invested in bicycling and walking.

2012 Benchmarking Report





Getting more women on bikes

At least twice as many men cycle compared to women in the US. In contrast, 55 percent of cyclists in the Netherlands are women, 49 percent in Germany. Infrastructure plays a key role….

… A survey conducted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals in the spring of 2010 found that women often shy away from cycling because of safety concerns, such as distracted drivers and a lack of cycling infrastructure. The Women’s Cycling Survey report, published in September of this year, notes that “women from large cities were most receptive to the addition of bike lanes as a means to start/ increase their cycling.” In other words, the better the infrastructure, the more likely it is that women in urban environments will bike.

From Momentum Magazine #49 Nov/Dec 2010 “Cycling’s Litmus Test”
by Sarah Ripplinger

Read editorial @ Momentum Magazine

Getting Cycling Across

Getting Cycling Across

By: Gail Meston


s a regular urban cyclist who routinely rides instead of driving, I find Lethbridge drivers to be quite courteous and careful of cyclists (with the noted exception of motorists on cell phones making turns at intersections!)  I often ride my bike on the road because it is smoother, faster, more direct, and generally freer of stops and starts and obstructions – really, the same things a motorist wants getting from point A to point B efficiently.

Whether out of courtesy or confusion, drivers often stop to give me the right of way when I am stopped on a side road waiting to cross a busy street.  I almost always wave them on and I can tell they are confused by that.   Maybe this will help:

According to law, a motorist must stop for a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk.  However, as a cyclist on the road, I am neither a pedestrian nor in the crosswalk.   In fact, under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, I am operating a vehicle when I am riding a bike on the road.   Therefore, all a driver has to do is recognize that I am an operator of a vehicle and follow the familiar traffic law – namely, proceed on your merry way and leave the crossing responsibility to me as you would any other vehicle.  I will eventually find a break in the traffic and be able to cross legally.

Legalities aside, when a motorist stops for me to cross, it disrupts the regular flow of traffic and causes confusion for everyone.  No one knows what to do then and that jeopardizes everyone’s safety.  Ironically, because the flow of traffic has been altered, I will have to wait longer for my “break” than if the flow had not been disturbed.

I strive to be viewed as a responsible cyclist who has rights to use the road.  I take those rights seriously in the hope of demonstrating that cyclists and motorists can indeed share the road.  I take those rights joyfully in the hope of encouraging others to discover the delights and wide-ranging benefits of cycling as alternative transportation.