The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) are conducting this short survey to learn about the commute travel of participants in recent Bike-to-Work Day events held in the Washington DC metropolitan region. Please take a few minutes to answer and submit this brief questionnaire at the link below. If you have any questions, please call us at (800)-745-RIDE (7433).
A pretax election fringe benefits program providing transportation benefits at a level at least equal to the maximum amount that may be deducted from the employee’s gross income. Those benefits need not include parking.
An employer-paid benefit program where the employer supplies a transit pass for the public transit system requested by each covered employee, or reimbursement for vanpool costs.
No-cost, employer-provided transportation in a vanpool or bus operated by or for the employer.
The first option could include the bicycle commuter benefit - if the employer chooses to offer it - because it is a qualified transportation fringe as defined by the IRS.
The second option does not include bikesharing as a public transit system that employees can choose, but it should (an employers would likely support that since it is surely much cheaper than any of the other options).
The third option does not relate to cyclists.
So this is a good bill, that could be made a little bit better if it included bikesharing as transit. [Bikesharing could be included as transit if the Commuter Parity Act of 2013 is passed at the federal level, but why wait]
In addition, DC does not currently offer it's employees the option to choose the bicycle commuter benefit in place of a transit benefit.
Gray claims that this bill, ....will move the District “even further along on the path to becoming “an international destination for people and investment, and a model of innovative policies and practices that improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for all District residents.”
Expanding the commuter benefits of DC employees to include the bicycle commuter benefit would help with that too - and at almost no cost to the District.
Tuesday, November 12 on car and bike parking, the most talked-about part of the update. This hearing is actually full, but there is an overflow night on Tuesday, November 19 where you can speak.
Even if you don't speak, I predict a high level of entertaining crazy. But from a policy standpoint, this is the once a generation change that will do a great deal to improve bike parking and commuting in DC. The most common excuse I hear for not bike commuting is lack of a shower, among other things this will require more showers and changing rooms for bike commuters.
It's ridiculous to close the trails but keep the parkway open. Is the idea that trails are for recreation and roads are for transportation? The CCT already allows commuters to use the trail after desk which is recognition that this isn't true.
if the federal government shuts down tomorrow, the National Park Service intends to close many of its properties, including regional trails, to the public. We have been provided very little detail, but we have seen preparations for closure on the Capital Crescent Trail. All or part of the heavily-commuted Rock Creek Trail, Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, and George Washington Memorial Trail are on NPS property. While we cannot provide additional information on the impacts to these trails because NPS has not been in contact with us, please be prepared for the possiblity of closures in the event of a federal government shutdown.
I was talking to my neighbor about the shutdown and he was disappointed that Gray was declaring all DC government employees as exempted. He felt like piles of trash on the curb would make a nice visual of the inanity of shutting down the government and of DC's lack of budget autonomy. His idea was that we should "Facebook Our Trash". That if everyone in DC started putting photos of their piled up trash on Facebook that people would notice - sort of like the way that old people started asking me what the human rights campaign logo was when everyone started making it their photo to show support for gay marriage. He quoted the line from Hotel Rawanda "We must shame them into sending help" (which may be over the top for piled up trash).
Anyway, if trails are closed tomorrow that isn't really a DC home rule issue, because the same kind of thing will be playing out elsewhere as well, but it is kind of a stupid impact of a failure to pass a budget and so if people want to take photos of their new trail-less commute (or the cars piled up behind them as a result) and put them on facebook or twitter (#openmytrail) that might help soothe the pain and draw attention to the importance of trails - though it probably won't convince Congress to pass a budget.
Earlier I reported that bike commuting was way up in DC, from 3.2% to 4.1%. That's true. But when looking at the other modes, it appears that the increase almost entirely came from transit.
Here's year to year data
Mode 2011 2012
Driving 39.6% 39.7%
Transit 39.6% 38.6%
Walk 11.8% 11.9%
Bike 3.2% 4.1%
Other 1.1% 1.0%
Tele 4.8% 4.6%
The only modes that saw much change were biking and transit. That doesn't mean it's a wash. Biking has advantages such as health and congestion mitigation that transit may not have, and moving people off of transit helps to deal with crowding and allows for delays in buying new vehicles. Furthermore, in DC it may make more room for suburban commuters so that total transit use doesn't drop much. Still, it would be better if biking were moving people out of cars.
Also, both Maryland and Virginia had 0.4% bike commuting state-wide, up from 0.3%. PG County was at 0.3% putting it below the state average.
Update: It's also worth pointing out that this survey is done in April. So the 2011 data would not really include the uptick in biking from CaBi yet. The 2012 data is the first real post-Capital Bikeshare data.
The 2012 American Community Survey results are out and bike commuting is up to 4.1% which is almost a full percentage point above last year's 3.2%. (In 2010 it was 3.1%). And it represents a pretty rapid climb from previous years.
But DC isn't alone, the whole area has seen increases in bike commuting year-over-year.
Arlington was up to 1.8% from last year's 1.2% down to 1.2% from 1.3%
Alexandria at 1.3% from last year's 0.8%
Silver Spring was up to 0.6 % from last year's 0.2%
According to the ACS, in 2012 about .64% of commutes are made by bicycle, which represents an almost 10% increase from 2011. This is the largest year-on-year increase since 2007-2008, showing that people are choosing to use their bicycles for transportation not just in response to economic crisis, but because bicycles are leading the way to recovery. In total, there were 864,883 bike commuters in 2012.
Update: I don't know how, but I read the tables wrong for Arlington. I apologize
It's hard to tell if this is thanks to Capital Bikeshare or just the continued growth of bicycle transportation. The answer is almost surely both. Of course, the Census won't county many of these people as bike commuters.
Back in 2005, when the DDOT first published the City’s bike
masterplan, it included the following graphic on bike commuting mode
The fine print showed that the mode share estimate was provided by the
Census Journey to Work data, circa
2000, broken down by TAZ. Heavily shaded
areas, indicating 5-8.5% bike commuting mode share can be seen near 14th Street
by the U street Metro and in Adams Morgan, among several other locations. Since 2000, a couple of new Census commuting
surveys have been performed and a fair bit of bike infrastructure has been put
in place. But what if surveying isn’t
the right tool to determine mode share? Is there a different way of measuring
an area’s mode share that can be useful in guiding policy makers, planners and
road designers? One possible way would
be to look at the main corridor that runs through some given area and simply
count the roadway users – bikes and motorized vehicles – during the morning peak
hour (the PM peak hour tends to also capture retail trips, so it is less of a strictly commuting
timeframe). While counting vehicles and
bikes on a road can certainly be done by anyone, most of us are in some
traffic stream during peak commuting hours.
But fortunately there are other data sources: developers.
The two aforementioned bike-friendly areas recently had proposed
developments that have gone through the District’s zoning process – the Ontario
Theatre in Adams Morgan and the Rite Aid strip mall redevelopment near 14th
and U Streets. As part of the District’s
zoning process, these developers produced traffic impact studies for DDOT. Traffic impact studies, regardless of their
conclusions, often provide quality data on how public space is being used in
the immediate vicinity, because pedestrian and bike traffic is typically
counted along with vehicle traffic.
Comparing a roadway’s mode
split with a residential survey is not a direct comparison simply because, in
the District, cars are likely to originate from another neighborhood, if not
another state entirely. But the
availability of this “road based” data set can still provide value. Reviewing the traffic impact studies from the
two developments referenced above, and pulling out the existing count data at
select intersections, yields the following table:
Based on these numbers, the roads are being used at a higher rate than
the 2000 survey would imply, as expected – particularly if one makes the
logical assumption that the bikers are local (i.e. neighborhood-based), while
many of the vehicles are likely to be non-local.* While these aren’t Copenhagen numbers, they
are closer than the “5 to 8.5%” mode share from the 2000 commuting
survey. Given that biking infrastructure
has improved considerably at both these of these locations since the time of
the 2000 census, it appears that DDOT’s investments in areas that already had
higher-than-average bike mode share are yielding results.
But, is there value in measure existing bike mode share on a
roadway corridor basis, beyond validation of past investments? If you are
policy-maker, planner or roadway designer, is this type of data a more useful
input than a survey? If you have similar
corridors with similar land uses, Columbia
Road or 14th
Street could serve as a model for accommodating
bike traffic from both a planning and design perspective?
Or, is there more value to future developers of infill
properties? For example, if developers
had concrete evidence that such a large bike demand was already present, they would be more inclined to go heavy on the
indoor bike parking and lighter on car parking.
*Ignoring pedestrians here in modal split, but only for the purpose of this