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How to use the 2018 Benchmarking Report during Bike Month

Diving into the 400 plus page trove of data that is the 2018 Benchmarking Report isn’t just the deep end, it’s like diving into the Marianas Trench. Last week, as a way to guide advocates and others interested in utilizing the 2018 Benchmarking Report in their work, the League hosted a webinar to highlight how the data can inform decisions about how to improve bicycling and walking. The 2018 Benchmarking Report is the sixth edition of the Report and provides continuous comparative data for more than 50 cities and all 50 states.

As National Bike Month kicks off for the entire month of May, the webinar offers ideas about how to discuss why it’s so important to make bicycling and walking safer for everyone. 

Since the inception of the Benchmarking Report project in 2007 by the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking, there has been a massive increase in official efforts to improve bicycling and walking. These efforts are reflected in the stories told by each of the presenters on our webinar:

Dr. Melissa Jean Bopp – Professor at the College of Health & Human Development at Pennsylvania State University

  • Spoke about how data from the Benchmarking Report has been useful in identifying research needs, research areas, and providing data and context for determining interventions to improve health through physical activity, such as bicycling and walking.

Byron Rushing – Walking & Bicycling Program Manager at the Atlanta Regional Commission

  • Spoke about how the Atlanta Regional Commission used data from the Benchmarking Report to inform the Walk. Bike. Thrive! plan for the Atlanta region. As a large urban region, Atlanta was able to identify promising data sources, easily compare themselves to peer communities, and quickly access a variety of statistics compiled in the Benchmarking Report for the 50 largest cities in the United States.

Danielle Arigoni – Director of Livable Communities at AARP

  • Spoke about how older adults increasingly value walkable and bikeable places and the challenges posed by auto-dependence for people who can no longer drive. Data from the Benchmarking Report provides context to the AARP’s work on Livable Communities, Age-Friendly States, and the development of tools such as the AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit.

If you’re looking for ways to improve bicycling and walking, wanting to understand what governments are doing to improve bicycling and walking, or interested in the state of bicycling and walking the Benchmarking Report’s 415 pages hold a trove of discussion, graphics, and data analysis that will help you push forward this Bike Month.