WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The growth and popularity of biking in large cities such as Portland and Minneapolis has more than doubled since 2000. These cities are known for their bike share programs, bike lanes, and pedestrian friendly sidewalks and streets.
However, many small (populations of 20,000 to 99,999) and midsized cities (populations of 100,000 to 199,999) have a sizable share of their workers commuting by biking or walking. Many of these places are better known for the colleges and universities that call them home. With much of the population of college towns made up of students and teachers living nearby to the campuses where they are likely employed, it is no surprise that biking and walking are popular among commuters.
Of the 30 small and midsized cities that ranked among the highest in rates of walking to work, 22 were "college towns." The small city of Ithaca, N.Y., home to Cornell University and Ithaca College, had among the highest rate of walking to work for small cities. In Ithaca, more than 42 percent of residents walked to work. Cambridge, Mass., is a midsized city that also has two large colleges within the city, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Twenty-four percent of its residents chose to commute by foot to work. Cambridge also ranks high among midsized cities with bicyclists, with 7.2 percent of the residents frequently using a bike to commute.
Not only is walking a popular mode of transportation in small and medium-sized cities, many residents also bike to work. With the exception of Key West, Fla., many of these cities are also college towns. Perhaps because of its pleasant weather, 17.4 percent of its residents frequently commute to work by bike. In Davis, Calif., home to a University of California campus, 18.6 percent of residents bike to work. This rate is not statistically different from Key West, Fla.'s rate of biking to work.
In addition, there are college towns that rank high in both walking and biking to work. For example, the city of Boulder, Colo., home of the University of Colorado, also ranks high with 9.2 percent walking and 10.5 percent biking to work.
Written by: Brian McKenzie
Public Information Office
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau