By Charles Pekow
Commuting by bicycle increased 21 percent in Utah over the last decade. That figure looks pretty impressive. But the jump between 2005 and 2014 looks pretty small when you figure that as a percentage of total commuters, the state only went up from .62 percent to .7 percent. Utah ranks 15th among 52 states (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) in the percentage of people who get to work by bike. And the 21 percent growth pales in comparison to the 45 percent national growth during that timeframe.
Those figures come from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey as crunched by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in its report entitled Where We Ride: Analysis of Bicycle Commuting in American Cities. LAB's report looks at percentages, not the overall number of riders.
No city in Utah made it into the top 20 cycling to work communities in the West.
City Number of cycle commuters Percentage of cycle commuters
Provo 1737 3
Salt Lake City 2545 2.5
Millcreek 541 1.7
Orem 683 1.7
St. George 181 1.6
Sandy 172 .4
West Valley 164 .3
Ogden 130 .3
Note: the figures need be taken with some skepticism, as people are asked for their primary mode used during the last week – which will lead to variations based on season and weather. And they don't include people who bike to work, say, two days a week instead of five; or many who bike to a train, bus or boat.
View the report at http://www.bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/Where_We_Ride_2014_data_web.pdf.