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"Fourth, he uses 1990 census data. Why not go back to 1890. Driving doesn't rank that high there, does it?"

The emissions from the "engines" were a bit more wet and chunky back then. At least it made good fertilizer though.

How many bike commuters in the District are MD and VA residents?
I often tell co-workers that bike commuting is a transportation ALTERNATIVE. You don't need to give up your car - or the train or bus - to be a "bike commuter" - but it's a great alternative for days when you don't need or want your car (or train or bus).
I bike commute ~85-90 days per year. My amazed co-workers think I'm a "hard core" bike commuter. But according to this - I'm fair-weather and wouldn't even make their count. I'd be part of the 98% who don't bike commute. I spend more days on Metro - therefore it seems that mass transit is my "primary mode" of transportation.
Until/unless bike commuter surveys re-define who bike commuters are, the percent count will always be low.

It would be more accurate to measure it as an average percentage of trips, not persons. That would account for people using more than one mode. And of course you have to include MD and VA riders.

Yayy DC biking! But those are seriously lame "biking movie" lists. A movie that has a scene with a bike in it is not a "bike movie." Butch Cassidy? The Wizard of Oz? Really?

If we're going to classify movies based on the protagonist's primary means of transport, The Straight Story was a lawnmmower movie. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was a horse movie, and The Wizard of Oz was a tornado movie. You made "biking-movie ignorant" Gary Imhoff's point for him.

+1 on 7. I have a friend who bike commutes a lot from Alexandria to downtown DC, but by no means all the time. I used to think she was superwoman too until I got back out on my bike a couple years ago (not that it doesn't take some commitment and tenacity). I wonder how she would be classified.

Yep, the "commuter" category would have missed me today, since I drove (working late, and approaching violent storm).

As for this "despite subsidies" arguments, how many subsidies are given to drivers, and have been for many many decades? Imhoff focuses on a few hundred K spent on a bike lane, and overlooks the billions spent on roads.

I took the Metro today because of the rain - I guess I'm not a bike commuter.

I rode in the rain - 50% isn't enough to snuff me, and it was still clear at my leaving time of 5:25am.

The article should have read:

Imhoff - Still a horse's ass.

I rode to work, but I guess I'm just not a real commuter. Perhaps my income taxes don't count, either?

Another thing that should be considered is that work and work-related trips only account for about 20% (give or take a couple percentage points) of all trips. This is verified on both Table 5 (pg 29/135) of the 2001 National Household Travel Survey and from Ian Lockwood's presentation at the Future of Fairfax forum a couple weeks ago...his data comes from the 1995 survey.

Since the overwhelming majority of trips (80%) are not for commuting, then we should not spend any money on commuting related infrastructure, like wider lanes to handle rush hour, HOV, and extra trains and buses.

An aside: There is a new independent Czech film, "Protektor", a WWII thriller featuring many biking scenes, some amazingly stylized, and a bike figures prominently.

Ooh, can I play?

My household takes about 2,400 trips a year, and 2,200 of them are by bike. We bike 92% of our trips.

My household takes about 2,400 trips per year. We put about 6,000 miles on our car every year, and together we bike about 6,000 miles a year too. We bike about 50% of our miles.

For every $1 we spend on biking we spend about $6 on driving - about 85% of our transportation costs go toward our car, and only 15% to biking.

Add it all together and we bike 157% of the time and drive 143% - it comes out to 300% because it counts 100% of our biking and 100% of our driving - and statistics are 100% BS.

(But it means we still bike 6% more than we drive. Science proves it.)

I think this highlights a serious issue. Next time we see a survey that treats a 1 or 2 days-per-week bicycle commuter as if her or she did not ride at all, we should all scream bloody murder at whomever is doing the survey. Enough already!

For my part, cycling has only been my primary mode for the past year, but use of my car for out-of-town trips has me covering nearly as many miles in a car as on a bicycle. The next time someone does a survey that properly accounts for multi-modal choices by individuals, I think we will see a lot more than 2% for the cycling mode share.

I tend to bike commute more frequently in the summer and early fall. I have to admit that I don't bike commute often during the winter. I wouldn't show up in the survey either even though 30-40% of my annual commute trips are on the bike.

I'll probably bike commute more frequently next year now that we have CaBi.

Also, I can commute by one mode, and then use Bixi if I need to head off to an appointment out of the office.

Jonathon, one source of this problem is the U.S. Census which asks "How did this person usually get to work LAST WEEK? If this person usually used more than one method of transportation during the trip, mark (X) the box of the one used for most of the distance."

Here's more from LAB http://goo.gl/SHfZ

"Bicycling’s share of all trips is nearly three time large than bicycling’s share of commuter travel — the 2000 Census estimated that 0.34 percent of American workers usually bike to work, in contrast, the 2001 National Household Transportation Survey (NHTS) estimated that 0.9 percent of all trips were made by bicycle — therefore, the ACS bicycle commuter percentage should not be interpreted as equivalent to the proportion of all trips.

In addition, the ACS and the decennial Census undercount bicycle commuting levels. They ask for the principal mode of travel the worker usually used to get from home to work during the previous week.

Workers were asked to list only the means of transportation they used on the largest number of days in that week. This means that if the respondent rode a bicycle to work two days but drove three, they would not be counted as a cyclist. Likewise, workers were asked only for the means of transportation used for the longest distance during the trips. If someone biked one mile to a bus stop and rode the bus for two miles they would not be recorded as a bicyclist."

I bike all my trips EXCEPT going to work (too far away). Guess I don't count then.

@Wash. Thanks much for the info. Because transportation is becoming more multi-modal in the US, the questions on the US clearly need to be updated. I'm glad LAB recognizes the problem. I'll be gladder when LAB sends me an "action alert" e-mail to tell me who to write to to get the survey improved.

And this isn't just an issue for the big cities. Earlier this year I was riding my bicycle in Colorado, miles from any town, and came upon a bus stop with bike parking and a parked bicycle. IMO, the degree to which bicycling can make transit work well in the US has barely begun to be exploited.

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