Portland's Bureau of Transportation
released its 2010 "Bicycle Count" report
today, and the accompanying press release says bike ridership in Portland experienced a 7.6 percent increase in 2010
compared with 2009.
Last year's bike count had revealed the first dip in Portland's bike ridership—5 percent—since PBOT started measuring such trips in 1995.
Not in today's press release about the gains over the 2009 numbers is the fact that 2010's increase is so modest as to be almost negligible when compared with 2008's numbers. The graph below from the 2010 report illustrates this point:
You can find raw numbers for the annual bike counts at the bottom of the graph. They show a combined total of 59,956 average daily bike trips in 2008, 55,374 in 2009 and 60,111 in 2010.
That means ridership in 2010 increased by a total of 155 average daily bike trips compared with 2008—a 0.26 percent increase compared with 2008.
"It's basically caught itself up with the 2008 numbers," says Nick Falbo, a PBOT intern who compiled the report.
A spokesman for the bureau, Dan Anderson, attributes this short-term plateau to the crummy economy. "Regardless, the number of trips decreased last year, but is up this year – and now higher -- despite the economic situation in Oregon," Anderson writes in an email.