How does Missouri stack up in bicycling and walking: Alliance releases 2012 Benchmarking Report

Today the Alliance for Biking and Walking released Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking ReportThe report compares the fifty U.S. states and the fifty largest U.S. cities in various measures related to bicycling and walking.

How Missouri stacks up:

  • Nationwide, bicyclists and pedestrians account for 14% of traffic fatalities, yet just 1.6% of federal transportation funds go to these modes.
  • In Missouri, we're doing just a little better: Bicyclists and pedestrians make up 7.9% of traffic fatalities, 14% of traffic injuries, and receive 1.83% of federal transportation funds.
  • The 1.83% of federal funds spent on bicycling and walking in Missouri represents a significant increase in just two years: In the 2010 Benchmarking report, only 1.4% of Missouri's transportation dollars were spent on bike/ped.
  • Nationally, 12% of all trips are by bicycle (1.0%) or foot (10.5%).  The report does not have this data broken down by state, but our best estimate, based on surveys and data from Missouri communities and regions, is that 6-8% of trips in Missouri are by bicycle or foot--significant growth over our low point in bicycling and walking trips in the early 2000s, but still significantly below the national average.
  • The amount of bicycle commuting in Missouri has increased very significantly in the past two decades: The number of daily bicycle commuters has increased 76% since 2000 and 136% since 1990 (p. 206).
  • During that same period, the number of walk-to-work trips in Missouri has decreased--down 3% since 2000 and 19% since 1990.
  • Missouri is 40th out of 50 states in the amount of bicycling and walking, 34th in fatality rates, 17th in per capita funding levels, 23rd in bicycle safety, and 33rd in pedestrian safety (pp. 11, 12, 13, 52, 53).

National Bicycling and Walking Levels

  • From 2000 to 2009, the number of commuters who bicycle to work increased by 57%.
  • In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet Americans use their cars for 87% of trips 1 to 2 miles. Twenty-seven percent of trips are shorter than 1 mile, yet 62% of trips up to 1 mile long are by car.
  • Residents of the largest U.S. cities are  1.7 times more likely to walk or bicycle to work than the national average.

National Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Numbers

  • 14% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are bicyclists (1.8%) or pedestrians (11.7%).
  • In the 51 largest U.S. cities, 12.7% of trips are by foot and 1.1% are by bicycle, yet 26.9% of traffic fatalities are pedestrians and 3.1% are bicyclists.
  • Seniors are the most vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians. Adults over 65 make up 10% of walking trips, yet comprise 19% of pedestrian fatalities and make up 6% of bicycling trips, yet account for and 10% of bicyclist fatalities.

Funding for Bicycling and Walking

  • States spend just 1.6% of their federal transportation dollars on bicycling and walking. This amounts to just $2.17 per capita.

Public Health Benefits

  • Bicycling and walking levels fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased by 156%.
  • Between 1966 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children rose 276%.
  • In general, states with the highest levels of bicycling and walking have the lowest levels of obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes and have the greatest percentage of adults who meet the recommended 30-plus minutes per day of physical activity.

Economic Benefits

  • Bicycling and walking projects create 11-14 jobs per $1 million spent, compared to just 7 jobs created per $1 million spent on highway projects.
  • Cost benefit analyses show that up to $11.80 in benefits can be gained for every $1 invested in bicycling and walking.

Resources related to bicycle and pedestrian benchmarking and statistics: