Technically, this 2011 Ralph Buehler study "Trends and Determinants of Cycling in the Washington, DC Region" is not "From the Archives" worthy, because it doesn't predate the blog, but I don't think I wrote about it in 2011 (I was probably still annoyed about the Lost series finale) and it cover a lot of data from before the blog so I'm going to run with it anyway.
This report analyzes cycling trends, policies, and commuting in the Washington, DC area. The analysis is divided into two parts.
Part 1 focuses on cycling trends and policies in Washington (DC), Alexandria (VA), Arlington County (VA), Fairfax County (VA), Montgomery County (MD), and Prince George’s County (MD) during the last two decades. The goal is to gain a better understanding of variability and determinants of cycling within one metropolitan area.
Part 2 of the report presents a multiple regression analysis of determinants of bike commuting based on data of 5,091 workers from the Washington, DC region....cycling appears to be spatially concentrated in neighborhoods of the urban core jurisdictions. Compared to national averages for urbanized areas a larger share of bicycle trips in Washington, DC is commute or work related (41% vs. 17%). Area cyclists are predominantly male, between 25 and 40 years old, white, and from higher income groups. Bicycle planning in the region has its roots in the 1970s, experienced a hiatus in the 1980s, but has witnessed a ‘renaissance’ since the (late) 1990s. Initially bicycle policies focused on the provision of off-street paths—often shared with pedestrians. Since the late 1990s, jurisdictions have greatly expanded their on-street bicycle lanes and implemented other innovative programs.
The regression analysis appears to support the expansion of the bike network, since bikeway supply is a significant predictor of bike commuting. Moreover, bike parking and cyclist showers at work are associated with more bike commuting. Free car parking at work is associated with less bike commuting; and transit commuter benefits were not a significant predictor of bike commuting.
And the "archives part"
Planning for bicycling in the Washington region dates to the 1970s. In 1972 the Washington Area Bicycle Association (WABA), the region’s largest pro-bicycling lobbying organization, was formed (Hanson and Young, 2008, WABA, 2010b). Local jurisdictions and the regional planning board published their initial bicycle plans in subsequent years: Alexandria City and Arlington County in 1974; Washington and Montgomery County in 1978, and the regional Transportation Planning Board (TPB) in 1977 (DDOT, 2005, DDOT, 2010a, Bike Arlington, 2011, Fairfax County, 2011, Montgomery County, 2008, Prince George's County, 2011, City of Alexandria, 2011a, TPB, 2010a). Bicycle plans of the 1970s were often limited to specific corridors or were part of other planning documents, such as comprehensive plans or transportation master plans. Bike plans typically called for the construction of on-street and offstreet bikeways. Prince George’s County’s plan (1975) was an exception, since it focused on the construction of a shared-use trail network only.
The implementation of most of these initial plans was limited to the construction of off-street bike trails and paths. There were only a few new pro-bike initiatives in the 1980s, such as the inclusion of bicycling in Arlington County’s transportation master plan and Alexandria’s new bicycle map. In the 1990s, interest in bicycle planning reemerged at regional and local levels. Bicycling became part of the TPB’s regional long-range transportation plan in 1991 and the TPB published its regional vision for bicycling in 1998 (TPB, 2006, TPB, 2001). Arlington County updated its transportation master plan with an expanded bicycling section in 1994 (Hanson and Young, 2008). Alexandria established a bicycle study committee in 1992 and published a bicycle transportation and multi-use trail master plan in 1998. Montgomery County adopted its Countywide Park Trails plan in 1998 and Prince George’s County created a bicycle trails advisory group. Washington did not have a dedicated bike planner during the decade.
There is much more in the study, far more than I can put in one post, so I'll just share these two charts (and I'd love to see updated versions of them, especially the 1st one). I suspect that DC has gained on Arlington on bike path miles with the expansion of the Anacostia River Trail, but probably not enough to catch them. I wonder where he placed the section of the Mt. Vernon Trail on Columbia Island?
This chart shows DC to be a dangerous outlier, with more fatalities than the number of bike trips would predict (based on the curve).