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A National Bike Map

A different kind of bike map. Click on image for larger version courtesy of

A different kind of bike map. Click on image for larger version courtesy of

This one is for our visual learners. Kory Northrop, a master’s student in the Environmental Studies program at the University of Oregon studying GIS and bicycle transportation, has used available public data, ArcMap, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create this bicycling infographic.

The graphic shows the ACS bicycle commuter mode share and the number of female and male bike commuters in each state. The ratio of female to male bicyclists is considered an important indicator of bicycle-friendliness. In several of the cities with the highest bicycle mode share in Europe, female bicyclists outnumber male bicyclists. That is not the case in any state or large city in the US.

The graphic also highlights the 10 cities with the largest bicycle mode share (among the largest 70 US cities) and indicates their Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) status. At the bottom of the visual, Kory graphs the per capita and total federal spending on bicycle and pedestrian projects since 1990.

Kory chose bicycle commuting as the topic for his design project because he is a bike commuter and “wanted to produce something to raise awareness for bicycle transportation.” The graphic will serve as a reference in his thesis research on bicycle transportation modeling.

He says he learned a lot about the extent of the regional differences in bicycle commuting while doing the project, especially the relatively high mode shares of Alaska and Montana. “Another thing that struck me was how quickly things changed between 2004-2009: roughly 300,000 more people started commuting by bicycle, government spending more than doubled, and the number of bicycle-related fatalities decreased by nearly 50 percent, if you factor in the increases in ridership,” Kory wrote in an email. [Ed. note: the rate of fatalities per ten thousand bike commuters was cut in half in that period.]

While planning the project, Kory reached out to us in an effort to make the graphic useful for advocates. “My hope is that advocates and bicyclists can use this to reach out to more people and continue to raise awareness about bicycle transportation issues,” he said. “There are still areas within bicycle transportation that need a lot of work, such as the disparity between male and female bicyclists, and it is my hope that this project can be used to rally support and make the case for these issues.”

Nice work, Kory.

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