Posts Tagged ‘Grand Rapids’

Grand Rapids Bike Summit

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

2009 Grand Rapids Bike SummitNear the end of last month, Grand Rapids hosted a successful bike summit according to Pedal GR.

With 60 bicycles crowding the Bike Valet Parking area and around 200 attendees inside to learn how to make Grand Rapids into a Bicycle Friendly Community, I would call the first ever Grand Rapids Bike Summit a big success! In the crowd there were young people, old people, roadies, mountain bikers, casual bicycle riders, hardcore cyclists, fixed gear riders, government officials, politicians, and many others.

Their main keynote speaker was Bill Nesper from the League of American Bicyclists. Nesper leads their Bicycle Friendly America program and spoke about how Grand Rapids can achieve Bike Friendly Community status.

For more details on this summit, visit the Pedal GR web site.

Last year Kathyrn Underwood of the Detroit Planning Commission suggested Detroit host a bike summit. That is certainly an idea worth considering. Grand Rapids has given us a model to follow.

How many bike to work in Detroit?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden

www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden

Ever wonder how many people are biking or walking to work in Metro Detroit?  How do we compare with the bike friendly cities of Chicago and Portland?

Fortunately the U.S. Census publishes statistics on how people get to work. The below numbers are from 2007, which is before gasoline hit $4 a gallon and encouraged increased bike commuting.  We look forward to seeing the 2008 numbers.

Note that the Metro Detroit error margins are generally +/- 0.1%. For cities, the error margins are much larger which makes comparing these numbers somewhat precarious.

One conclusion that can be drawn is women don’t bike to work as frequently as men, but especially in some areas such as Wayne County, Southfield, and Grand Rapids.  Even in more bike friendly cities like Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Portland, women workers are much less likely to bike to work.  There is no corresponding gender difference among those walking to work in many of these regions (the City of Detroit is an exception).  In Metro Detroit, women  walk to work more often than men (1.6% vs. 1.4%).

Another conclusion: Detroit has much room for improvement compared to places like Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Portland.

City/Region Total Workers
(age 16 & over)
Walk
to work
Bike to work
Overall Male Female
Michigan 4,400,918 2.3% 0.4% 0.5% 0.2%
Metro Detroit 1,925,690 1.5% 0.2% 0.3% 0.1%
Wayne County 758,034 1.9% 0.3% 0.5% 0.0%
Oakland County 577,367 1.6% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2%
Macomb County 383,058 0.9% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Genesee County 170,312 1.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.0%
Detroit 249,970 2.7% 0.3% 0.7% 0.0%
Southfield 33,936 2.2% 0.4% 0.7% 0.0%
Troy 42,211 0.5% 0.3% 0.2% 0.3%
Ann Arbor 55,336 13.8% 2.6% 3.4% 1.8%
Lansing 52,690 2.5% 0.4% 0.5% 0.3%
Grand Rapids 90,481 3.6% 1.1% 2.0% 0.1%
Traverse City region 66,557 2.8% 0.5% 0.7% 0.4%
Flint 31,579 0.8% 0.4% 0.6% 0.2%
Chicago, IL 1,230,933 5.4% 1.1% 1.4% 0.7%
Portland, OR 280,933 4.4% 3.9% 4.9% 2.8%

One question we have is how does the Census Bureau count workers that use bus bike racks?  Are they counted as public transit commuters, as bicyclists or both?