The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition yesterday announced the preliminary results of a study showing that cities (like people) really can change--it found that the number of Angelenos riding bikes is on its way up. The group conducted the study over two days in September, counting bicyclists and pedestrians at 58 intersections around the city, including 17 intersections that were also counted in 2009 for the group's inaugural study. More people are biking and walking than in 2009--all but two of the observed intersections showed growth in the number of cyclists, with double-digit growth at the other 15. In total, the study counted 15,111 bicyclists and 76,740 pedestrians.
The proportion of bikers to pedestrians stayed about the same from the weekday to the weekend, and the number of people cycling on the weekday was not much smaller than the number riding on the weekend, suggesting a healthy population of bike commuters and other daily riders. One surprising finding was that fewer than one in five of the cyclers counted were women.
The study provides a little local evidence that bicycle infrastructure actually results in more riders hitting the streets. According to the LACBC, "Three of the intersections—4th and Wilton, 7th and Alvarado, and Fountain and Vermont—have streets where some form of bicycle infrastructure was installed between 2009 and 2011. These intersections saw a huge jump in their average ridership (96%) compared with the remaining intersections, which had a solid, but relatively modest average gain of 22%."
In a bit of bi-coastal synchronicity, the New York City Department of Transportation released the results of a bike survey for NYC on the same day, finding an eight percent increase in bike riders over last year--that amounts to double the number of riders that were on the streets of NYC in 2007.
· Results Are In: Cycling Is on the Rise in Los Angeles! [Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition]
· Number of Cyclists in New York City has Doubled Since 2007 [Inhabitat]