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Portland Proves To Be 'America's Bike Capital' In U.S. Census

OPB | May 8, 2014 11:50 a.m. | Updated: May 8, 2014 10:16 p.m. | Portland

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My college roommate told me a couple months ago that Minneapolis (not Portland) is actually the bikey-ist city in the U.S. I was appalled because I was sure I had seen/dodged at least five bikers that day alone.

Well, the numbers are in, former roomie, and Portland is on top with 6.1 percent of commuters going by bicycle, according to the U.S. Census Bureau report from 2008 to 2012. In fact, Portland was the only city that had bike commuting exceed walking — now that’s dedication.

Minneapolis comes in a clear third largest at 4.1 percent — the second largest increase in the nation … Right after Portland. Seriously, good on you, City of Lakes bicyclists. I hear you get snowbanks that are as tall as I am. (I’m just over five feet tall, in case you’re wondering.)

Now, somebody stop the city from painting over the America’s Bicycle Capital mural! No mural can be too big if it’s true!

Biking, no matter the climate, has become a rising trend in America — commuting by bicycle has increased by 60 percent in the past decade.

However, cyclist-commuters still only make up 0.6 percent (about 786,000 people) of all commuters in the U.S.

“In recent years, many communities have taken steps to support more transportation options, such as bicycling and walking,” said Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau sociologist and author of the report in an interview with USA Today. “For example, many cities have invested in bike-share programs, bike lanes and more pedestrian-friendly streets.”

Editor’s note: Portland has the largest bike commuting population at 6.1; Milwaukee, Wis. comes in second at 5.1; and Minneapolis has 4.1 percent of people commuting to work by bike.

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