City of Santa Cruz Holds the Second Highest Bike Commuting Rate in US
The League of American Bicyclists recently released a report that shows the City of Santa Cruz holds the second highest bike commuting rate in the U.S. at 13.2 percent just behind Davis, Calif. The report, titled Where We Ride: Analysis of Bicycle Commuting in American Cities, uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey to gauge the status of biking in cities across the country.
In the 2000 census, the City of Santa Cruz held a bike commute rate of 4.6 percent. By 2010, this had increased to 8.4 percent. The 2017 increase to 13.2 percent is based on the most recent data and shows progress that reflects the City’s investment in quality infrastructure and programs.
Numerous transportation options within the City are promoted through the Go Santa Cruz initiative which includes encouraging residents to try biking and walking for their daily trips. “We are thrilled that all of our efforts to inspire biking here in Santa Cruz are qualified by the League of American Bicyclists report,” said Mayor Martine Watkins. “With more Go Santa Cruz projects and programs in the works, I think we will surely give Davis a run for their money for first place!”
Since 2011, the City has won more than $21.5 million in competitive grants for projects to improve biking and walking, including theBranciforte Creek Bike/Pedestrian Bridge, Arana Gulch Multi-Use Trail, and projects to improve safe routes to schools. Since 2015, the City of Santa Cruz has held the League of American Bicyclists title of “Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community” meeting criteria based on engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning.
In 2017 the City launched Street Smarts, a traffic safety campaign for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and in 2018 the City partnered with Jump Bikes to bring bike share to Santa Cruz. The bike share program has been well received since the launch in May with over 179,000 trips taken, traveling over 435,000 miles.
The City has a proposal in the works to further its percentage of bike commuters. Last month the Downtown Employee Transportation Demand Management program — a package of benefits and incentives that make it easier for downtown employees to choose not to drive to work — was approved by the Downtown Commission. It will be presented to the City Council on Feb. 12.
More information is available at www.cityofsantacruz.com.