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Biking Has Shot Up an Insane 356 Percent in Santa Monica

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Whoa, it's a good thing Santa Monica didn't dilly-dally on launching that bike share program—they saw a formidable 356 percent increase in bike riding between 2000 and 2012, according to a progress report on the city's Bike Action Plan, which went into action about three years ago. The figure comes from the League of American Bicyclists, who surveyed SaMo earlier this year for its overall bike-friendliness in those years. True, it covers several more years than the bike plan's been in action, but still—nationally over the same period, even the average bike-friendly city only saw an 85 percent rise in cycling. Santa Monica crushed them all.

There's more good bike news for SaMo, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press:

· Just between 2011 and 2013, the number of bike riders counted at intersections in peak commute periods rose 51 percent.
· Five percent of Santa Monica employees bike to work—up from 3.4 percent when the plan was first put in place.
· Around 23 percent of Santa Monicans copped to riding at least a few days a week; that's a two percent increase from the start of the bike plan.
· Even with bike ridership up, crashes are down: there were six fewer crashes reported last year than when the plan was first implemented, and the crash rate (which gruesomely "involves counting the number of bike crashes in intersections during rush hour") was down 50 percent from its baseline.
· Perhaps as a result of all of these things combined, the percentage of residents who report feeling at least "somewhat safe" when they ride increased 12 percent, the report says.

All this success couldn't have happened to a better place for bikers. Santa Monica's lane and sharrow mileage more than doubled in the study period, and construction is planned to start next year on the Colorado Esplanade, which will connect the end of the Expo Line extension with surrounding parts of downtown SaMo and bring the city's first two-way protected cycle track. Good thing there's also way more space to park those bikes—there are now 210 percent more bike parking spaces.
· Biking way, way up in Santa Monica [SMDP]
· Mapping the Possible Spots For SaMo's Bike Sharing Stations [Curbed LA]