Research Reports

Access Across America: Biking 2017

Principal Investigator:

Andrew Owen, Brendan Murphy

July 2019

Report no. CTS 19-19

Topics: Accessibility metrics, Bicycling, Economics

Accessibility is the ease and feasibility of reaching valued destinations. It can be measured for a wide array of transportation modes, to different types of destinations, and at different times of day. There are a variety of ways to define accessibility, but the number of destinations reachable within a given travel time is the most comprehensible and transparent as well as the most directly comparable across cities.

This report focuses on accessibility to jobs by biking. Bicycle mode share for commute trips in the U.S. is typically very low, and has remained stable at 0.6% of all commute trips since 2011; however, overall number of bicycle commuters nationwide has increased by 21.6% since 2010.

This study estimates the accessibility to jobs by biking for each of the United States? 11 million census blocks, and analyzes these data in the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas. Travel times by biking are calculated using detailed roadway networks classified by their Level of Traffic Stress (LTS). Rankings are determined by a weighted average of job accessibility; a higher weight is given to closer jobs, as jobs closer to origins are more easily reached, and are thus more valuable, than those further away. Jobs reachable within ten minutes are weighted most heavily, and jobs are given decreasing weights as travel time increases up to 60 minutes.

This report presents detailed accessibility values for each metropolitan area, as well as block-level maps which illustrate the spatial patterns of accessibility within each area. A separate publication, Access Across America: Biking 2017 Methodology, describes the data and methodology used in this evaluation.

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