The top 10 cities for bicycle commuting; how 70 biggest cities rank

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More Americans than ever are saying that they commute to work by bicycle, according to recently released figures from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Shirtsleeve weather for Bike to Work DayAlthough the percentage is still low — 0.64% of all commuters in 2012 — the rate represents a 9.6% increase in just one year and a 50% increase if you go all the way back to 1990.

That 0.64% represents 864,883 bike commuters in 2012.

Policy makers, especially those in the top bicycle-commuting cities, should consider this when they appropriate money aimed at reducing traffic congestion in their cities.

The League of American Bicyclists ranked the 70 most populated cities in the US based on how they fell on the 2012 bike commute list:

1. Portland, Oregon — 6.1%

2. Minneapolis — 4.5%

3. Washington DC — 4.1%

4. Seattle — 4.1%

5. San Francisco — 3.8%

6. Denver — 2.9%

7. Tuscon — 2.8%

8. Oakland, CA — 2.7%

9. Sacramento — 2.6%

10. New Orleans — 2.4%

One thing that’s very clear from the list compiled by the League is that all of the Top 10 cities are ranked either platinum, gold, silver or bronze level Bicycle Friendly Communities. In fact, the bike commute rate among the Bicycle Friendly Communities was 1.48%, compared to 1.16% for the 70 largest cities taken as a whole.

That shows it’s worth the time and effort to earn a spot on the list of Bicycle Friendly Communities. As more and more people ride, bicycling becomes safer for all of us.

Here’s the complete list of the top 70 US cities by population and where they ranked as compiled by the League of American Bicyclists:

1. Portland, OR
2. Minneapolis, MN
3. Washington, DC
4. Seattle, WA
5. San Francisco, CA
6. Denver, CO
7. Tucson, AZ
8. Oakland, CA
9. Sacramento, CA
10. New Orleans, LA
11. Philadelphia, PA
12. Honolulu, HI
13. Boston, MA
14. Buffalo, NY
15. Chicago, IL
16. Austin, TX
17. St. Paul, MN
18. Tampa, FL
19. Pittsburgh, PA
20. Fresno, CA
21. St. Louis, MO
22. Anchorage, AK
23. Santa Ana, CA
24. San Diego, CA
25. Bakersfield, CA
26. Baltimore, MD
27. Raleigh, NC
28. Miami, FL
29. Los Angeles, CA
30. New York City, NY
31. Milwaukee, WI
32. Albuquerque, NM
33. Mesa, AZ
34. San Jose, CA
35. Columbus, OH
36. Phoenix, AZ
37. Riverside, CA
38. Lexington-Fayette county, KY
39. Atlanta, GA
40. Cleveland, OH
41. Anaheim, CA
42. Long Beach, CA
43. Virginia Beach, VA
44. Detroit, MI
45. Stockton, CA
46. Jacksonville, FL
47. Cincinnati, OH
48. Indianapolis, IN
49. Kansas City, MO
50. Colorado Springs, CO
51. Aurora, CO
52. Houston, TX
53. Corpus Christi, TX
54. Toledo, OH
55. Las Vegas, NV
56. Omaha, NE
57. Wichita, KS
58. Louisville/Jefferson County metro, KY
59. Arlington, TX
60. Fort Worth, TX
61. Charlotte, NC
62. Newark, NJ
63. Memphis, TN
64. Nashville-Davidson metro, TN
65. Dallas, TX
66. Oklahoma City, OK
67. San Antonio, TX
68. Tulsa, OK
69. El Paso, TX
70. Plano, TX

For all the data on the top 70 cities, download the spreadsheet created by League of American Bicyclists.

Tom Fucoloro at the Seattle Bike Blog parsed a lot of data for the past two years for Seattle and King County as a whole here and here. The Seattle Times also reported on the local data.

Minneapolis StarTribune touted the city’s popularity among bicyclists.

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