November 20th, 2010 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall

Bike Count 2010: City Says Bike Trips Back on the Upswing

Bike count 2009

The number of bike trips in Portland showed an increase in 2010 compared with 2009, when the number of bike trips in Portland dropped for the first time since 1995 amid the recession.

By how much and where won't be known until next week, when the Portland Bureau of Transportation releases its annual bicycle-count report for 2010, which measured bike commuting between July 20 and Sept. 30.

An early version of this year's report--branded with the words "draft not for distribution"--says the following:

  • Of 110 locations that were counted in both 2009 and 2010 (including the four bicycle-friendly Willamette River Bridges and trails) 46 locations showed a decrease compared to 2009 while 64 locations showed an increase.

  • The split of male to female cyclists also remained steady since 2009.

  • The number of bicyclists crossing these four bridges has grown rapidly in recent years, with the exception of 2009. 2010 proved a challenging year in which to collect data on Portland's bridges. In particular, construction on the Broadway Bridge had significant impact on bicycle traffic on both that bridge, as well as on the Steel Bridge, which is the nearest alternative to the Broadway.

Like last year, it may be difficult to compare the bike-count numbers to automobile traffic across Portland's four bike-friendly bridges, because "the most current auto count numbers on the four principal bicycle bridges are from 2009" not 2010, the draft report says.

When city officials released the 2009 bike report, they compared the one-year dip in bicycle traffic of six percent on the bridges to a four-year decline of 10 percent in auto traffic. They then said the decline in bike trips mirrored the decline in car trips.

Here's an excerpt from this year's preliminary report:

Draft version of 2010 bike report
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