Facts and Stats

Economy

  • For every quarter-mile nearer to an off-street bicycle trail, the median home value in Minneapolis-St. Paul increases by $510. (Alliance For Biking and Walking, 2006)

  • In urban shopping districts, the most valuable customers are those who stop by often. In Portland, OR, shoppers going by bike spend an average of $10.66 per trip and $75.66 per month while those taking cars averaged at $13.70 per trip but $61.03 per month. Bicyclists are good for business!(Alliance For Biking and Walking, 2012)

  • The average family spends around 19% of its budget on transportation. Very low-income families (families who make less than half of an area's median income) can see as much as 55 percent of their earnings eaten up by transportation costs, according to a report by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. (Boston Review, 2013)

  • Improving current highway conditions and performance measures has been estimated to require annual investments exceeding $200 billion. Current fuel tax revenue projections, however, suggest that the amount available will only be half of that. (National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study, Dec 2007)

  • On average, larger increases in government spending on bike and pedestrian infrastructure are associated with larger increases in the number of bike commuters. (American Community Survey 2000 to 2008)

  • Commercial vacancies dropped 49% in the areas around the recently developed pedestrian-oriented plazas in Union Square. The City’s Select Bus Service campaign, designed to cut travel times and boost ridership increased retail sales by 71% on Fordham Road in the Bronx, where the city has launched Select Bus Service - even during a period where bus usage around the city has dwindled. (New York Department of Transportation, 2012)

  • The total annual cost of crashes in the nation's urbanized areas is $99 billion. (NewPublicHealth.org)

  • For every dollar saved by moving to more affordable housing, 77 cents is spent on a longer commute to work. (NewPublicHealth.org)

  • After the installation of protected bike lanes on New York City's 8th and 9th Avenues in the fall of 2007, there were increases in retail sales of up to 49% in those areas, compared to 3% in the rest of Manhattan. (New York Department of Transportation)

  • For the cost of repaving three miles of rough pavement on Interstate 710 in California, CalTrans could sign and stripe 1,250 miles of California roads for bike lanes. That’s more than the distance from Los Angeles to Seattle. (League of American Bicyclists)

  • Looking at 58 separate projects, a study last year by Heidi Garrett-Peltier at the Political Economy Research Institute found that $1 million invested in bike infrastructure produced 11.4 jobs, against 10 jobs for the same amount invested in pedestrian schemes, and 7.8 jobs for road-only projects. (Fast Company)

  • Repair work on road and bridges generates 16% more jobs than construction of new roads and bridges. (Smart Growth America)

  • Transportation is the second largest expense for households in the United States, costing more than food, clothing and health care. (Smart Growth America)

  • Households earning $20,000 to $35,000 annually and located far from job centers spend 70% of their income on housing and transportation combined.(Center for Neighborhood Technology)

  • New York City residents save $19 billion every year by using alternative transportation. If NYC residents drove as much as residents of other big cities, they would own 4.5 million additional cars, consume 2.4 billion more gallons of gas, and produce 23 million more tons of carbon emissions each year.  (Bikesbelong.org/ NY Dept. of Transportation)

  • If 20 of our nation's metropolitan areas shifted 50% of their highway funds to transit, they would create over 1.1 million new transit-related jobs over 5 years-without a single dollar of new spending. (Transportation for America)

  • The average American household will spend $2,200 on gas each year.  (Transportation for America)

  • The average American household spends over $8,000 per year on owning and driving their cars.  It costs about $300 a year to maintain a bike.  (U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics)

  • Every $1 billion invested in public transportation capital/operations creates or supports: 36,000 jobs, $3.6 billion on sales, nearly $500 million in federal, state and local tax revenues. (Economic Development Research Group)

  • For the price of a single mile of a four-lane urban highway, approximately $50 million, hundreds of miles of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure can be built, an investment that could complete an entire network of active transportation facilities for a mid-sized city. (Rails to Trails Conservancy)

  • Building bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure creates an average of 11.4 jobs for every $1 million spent. Road-only projects, like repaving and widening, create an average of 7.8 jobs per $1 million. On average, all projects together created about nine jobs per $1 million, including 4.7 direct jobs. (Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst)

Environment

  • More than 70 percent of surface area in Los Angeles is dedicated to automobiles (roads, parking, gas stations, etc.). Parks and and open spaces have but a mere 5 percent.(Good.is)

  • Federal law does NOT hold SUVs and light trucks to strict emissions standards placed on passenger vehicles.  (Transportation for America)

  • The U.S. could import 462 million fewer gallons of gasoline a year by increasing cycling from 1% to 1.5% of all trips.  (Bikes Belong Coalition)

  • Despite having only 5% of the world’s population, vehicles in the US contribute 45% of the world’s motor vehicle greenhouse gases.  (Environmental Defense Fund)

  • Currently, short bicycling and walking trips account for 23 billion miles traveled every year. Modest increases in bicycling and walking for trips of three miles or less could double that figure, and more substantial increases could yield four times more miles bicycled or walked. Taking into account secondary effects from synergies with public transportation and mixed-use development, modest increases in active transportation could avoid 69 billion miles driven, and substantial increases could lead to 199 billion miles of avoided driving. (Rails to Trails Conservancy)

Public Health

  • The average young American is biking (up 24%) and taking transit (up 40%) more often and also driving less (down 23%). (Alliance for Biking & Walking)

  • In 2011 in the United States, speeding played a role in nearly 1 in 3 crash deaths and almost 9 out of 10 speeding-related deaths took place on non-Interstate highways. Even small increases in vehicle speed put pedestrians at much greater risk of death: at 20mph the risk of death is 6%; at 30mph the risk of death is 19%; at 45mph the risk of death is 65%. (Health Resources in Action)

  • Physical fitness improves work and people who ride their bike regularly benefit in many different ways: up to 32% use fewer sick days, up to 55% have lower health costs, and up to 52% increase productivity. (Alliance for Biking & Walking)

  • Every additional hour spent in a car is associated with a 6% increase in the risk of obesity, and every kilometer walked is associated with a 5% decrease in obesity risk. (Center for Disease Control)

  • The estimated medical costs of inactivity top $75 billion per year. (Center for Disease Control)

  • Thirty-six percent of adults don’t report any leisure time physical activity; 88% don’t meet federal guidelines for the recommended amount of activity. (Center for Disease Control)

  • A study of more than 18,000 middle-aged women found that those who bicycled regularly put on less weight as they aged.  (Archives of Internal Medicine)

  • In just one U.S. generation, the percentage of kids who walk to bike to school has dropped from 50% to 15%, while childhood obesity has tripled.  (Bikes Belong Coalition)

  • A Danish study of 20,000 children found that ones who cycled or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration for up to four hours after they got to school. (The Atlantic: Cities)

  • Results from a 2007-2010 Iowa public health study suggest the presence of an on-road bicycle facility decreases crash risk by as much as 60% with a bicycle lane or shared lane arrow and 38% with bicycle-specific signage. (Cara Hamann, Corinne Peek-Asa)

  • During the period 1999-2007, the amount of cycling in New York City increased by 98%, and the absolute number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in New York City decreased by 29%. (NYC Department of Transportation)

  • A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling. (Peter Lyndon Jacobsen, Public Health Consultant)

  • Bicycling for transportation can reduce mortality by 35 to 40%.  (Bikes Belong Coalition)

  • After narrowing the roads of Prospect Park, adding two-way bikeways, improving signage and signaling, and pedestrian islands, the NYC DOT found that speeding was reduced by 54%, injury-causing crashes decreased by 63%, and combined vehicle and bicycle counts still increased by 13% in the AM rush period and 9% in the PM rush period. (Project for Public Spaces)

  • Researchers have found that the rate of child pedestrian injuries during "school travel" hours fell by 44 percent around schools where the city made traffic changes such as installing more traffic lights and speed bumps, adding traffic islands, and setting up speed detecting signs. (HealthDay News)

  • Around the world road traffic injuries take the lives of 145 people every hour of  everyday. This is more than two lives a minute. 90% of these facilities occur in the world's rapidly urbanizing low- and middle-income nations. (Mayor Bloomberg's press release)

  • The World Health Organization predicts that traffic crashes will become the world's 5th leading cause of death by 2030. (WHO)

  • 50% of older people in the United States stay home on a given day because they lack transportation options.  (Transportation for America)

Bike

  • As of Fall 2013, the US has 24 bike sharing programs, with a combined fleet total of 18,000 publicly shared bikes. (Grist.org)

  • In Portland, Ore., the number of bicyclists increased five-fold over 15 years in response to a program which encouraged bicycling, and tripled the mileage of local trails and bikeways. (City of Portland Office of the Auditor)

  • The age group of 40 to 64 more than doubled its share of bicycle trips in the U.S., from 10% to 21%, between 2001 and 2009, a period when the number of daily bike commuters rose by nearly 100%. At the same time, the share of cycling trips made by women fell from 33% to 24%. (John Pucher of Rutgers University)

  • The number of U.S. trips made by bike doubled between 1990 and 2009.  (Federal Highway Administration)

  • On a round-trip commute of 10 miles, bicyclists save roughly $10 daily and spare the air 10 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, while burning 360 calories in the process.  (Bikes Belong Coalition)

  • According to a survey of Washington, D.C. Bike to Work Day participants, 17 percent said they had never bike commuted before the event, 10 percent started riding to work after the event, and 22 percent started riding more often. (National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board)

Walk

  • Studies show 46% of people will walk 1 mile to church or school and 1% will walk 3-4 miles to church or school. (NewPublicHealth.org)

  • Studies show 35% of people will walk 1 mile to work and 1% will walk 3-4 miles to work. (NewPublicHealth.org)

Transit´╗┐

  • Under typical urban traffic conditions, 20 buses carry more passengers than a general traffic lane, and 45 buses carry more passengers than a freeway lane, so an urban artery with more than 20 buses per peak hour, and an urban highway with more than 45 buses per peak hour, should have dedicated bus lanes and other bus priority features to maximize travel efficiency and attract more discretionary travelers to transit. (Todd Litman: Win-Win Solutions to Urban Transit Problems)

  • In 1993, Kunming, China established its Public Transport Masterplan which gives priority to walking, cycling and public transport over private automobiles. The first bus lane opened in 1999, followed by a second in 2002. The plan also includes pedestrian and cycling improvements, and smart growth policies that focus new development around railway stations. Public survey found that 79% of residents were satisfied with the project in 1999, and this grew to over 96% satisfaction in 2001. (Todd Litman: Win-Win Solutions to Urban Transit Problems)

  • In 2002, Seoul, Republic of Korea, implemented various transport innovations including removal of a major downtown highway, development of a BRT system with more than 5,000 high-quality buses operating on 107 km of busways and pedestrian and cycling improvements, plus a traffic control center which monitors traffic and parking problems on major arteries. This has greatly reduced congestion delay and accident risk. (Todd Litman: Win-Win Solutions to Urban Transit Problems)

  • The MBTA service area (all municipalities with a transit stop or directly adjacent to one with a transit stop) is 175 cities and towns, and represents 74% of the state’s population. (MAPC)

  • More than 80% of the nation's transit systems are considering or have recently enacted fare increases or service cuts, including reductions in rush-hour service, off-peak service and geographic coverage. (American Public Transportation Association)

  • 60% of U.S Public Transit trips are by bus. (NewPublicHealth.org)

  • The percent of U.S buses with bike racks tripled from 2000-2006. (NewPublicHealth.org)

  • Nearly one third of commuters in the Boston area use public transportation. (Transportation for America)

  • Public transit users walk a median of 19 minutes daily getting to and from transit stops. Nearly 30 percent of transit users exceed the 30 minutes of recommended physical activity per day. (Center for Disease Control)

  • Over 90 percent of zero-vehicle households in large metropolitan areas live in neighborhoods with access to transit service of some kind. (Brookings Institute)

  • More than four-in-five voters (82%) say that the "United States would benefit from an expanded and improved public transportation system, such as rail and buses." (Transportation for America)

  • The typical metropolitan household without a vehicle can reach over 40 percent of metro-wide jobs via transit within 90 minutes, exceeding the 29 percent transit access share for households with a vehicle. (Brookings Institute)

Automobiles

  • Rates of car ownership in the United States are the highest in the world, and the number of cars per household now exceeds the number of drivers. (Federal Highway Administration)

  • More than 60 million Americans are not allowed to drive because they are too young. Another 30 million adults are not licensed to drive for a variety of reasons including economics, age, disability and choice. Eight million Americans above the age of 60 do not have a driver’s license, and many more licensed drivers choose not to drive. Bicycling and walking are crucial in providing universal mobility. (US Census Bureau, US Department of Transportation)

  • The average American motorist now drives about 15,000 miles a year. In recent decades, total miles driven (referred to as Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT, by planners) have increased three times faster than population growth, putting a severe strain on our roads. As a consequence, the average traveler now wastes the equivalent of a full work week stuck in traffic every year. (The 2007 Urban Mobility Report)

  • Between 1990 and 2009 the vehicle miles traveled for passenger cars and trucks has increased by 39 percent, said David Ragland, PhD, MPH, Director of the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California at Berkeley. (Center for Disease Control)

  • Sales of new cars have almost halved in the U.S, down from nearly 11 million in 1985 to about 5.5 million in 2009. (New Scientist)

  • In the US, the average car on the average journey carries 1.7 people, half a person less than in 1970. (New Scientist)

  • In 2008, vehicle miles traveled decreased by 4% in the US.  This resulted in 30% less congestions at peak traffic hours.  (INRIX)

  • Traffic incidents are the leading cause of fatal injuries within the US, accounting for 39% of total deaths. 21% of these are highway related incidents.

  • From 2001 to 2009, the average annual number of vehicle-miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita – a drop of 23 percent. (US PIRG)

  • Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for ages 5-24. (NewPublicHealth.org)

  • 89% of US travelers use highways, while 0.6% use rail service.  (Bureau of Transportation Statistics)

  • 74 million new cars hit the world's roads each year. 64 new cars a minute. (Mayor Bloomberg's press release)

  • Half of the trips in America can be completed within a 20-minute bike ride, and a quarter of trips are within a 20-minute walk. Yet, the vast majority of these short trips are taken by automobile. (Federal Highway Administration)

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