View Full Version : Bike Commuting Map

Tim Kelley
03-07-2011, 10:41 AM
A colleague sent me the below message that I wanted to share:

"Found this interesting
The American Community Survey is an annual count that replaced the Census Long Form, the results of which were released in 2001. The ACS became official in 2005 and thus 2009 was the first year that they were able to release 5 year data set. The five year report is a sample that is large enough to drill down the commute to work data to the Census Tract level as well as every county in the US.

The interactive map of the all the US Counties is color coded by the percentage of bicycle commuters with the lightest number representing less the 0.1 percent and the darkest representing 10% plus. You can also click on a county to find out the number of people who walk, take transit or drive alone."

03-07-2011, 11:03 AM
Wow, interesting.

Based on a quick, superficial review, bike commuting rates are high in vacation spots (Florida Keys, Cape Cod) and college towns (Blacksburg, VA, Champaign, IL).

Although there are a few big counties in what I presume are less populated areas of some western states . . . wonder what's going on there? Mountain bikers bombing down the mountain to work?

Will be interesting to see if and how this changes over time.


03-07-2011, 12:54 PM
So looking at my county, and assuming I've got the arithmetic right, we've got:
429,597 total commuters, and

275,220 commuting by car (drive alone)
74,562 by transit
9,038 by walking
and 1,264 by bike.

That's a total of 360,084, which leaves a remainder 69,513 who commute either by car (not alone) or multi-modal?

I'd guess carpooling in Prince George's county is a relatively small share of the remainder, but I don't know. Perhaps bike/transit and walk/transit would be the remainder of the remainder? Or maybe the survey just got lots of non-responses to the question?

03-07-2011, 04:57 PM
LOL. 15 in my county bike :)

03-14-2011, 01:56 PM
Be really careful of ACS figures that either a) describe small portions of the population of a given area (like bikers), or b) show data at a small unit of geography, or c) both. The margins of error on the ACS data can be very big - enough to render many numbers statistically insignificant.