Biking to work is up in Utah according to a new study released by the League of American Bicyclists. The study, based on data collected in 2012, shows that Utah is ranked number 9 in the nation for growth in commuters getting to work by bike. Nearly 1 percent of Utahns biked to work in 2012, that’s compared .6 percent in 2005—an increase of 59.8 percent in 7 years.
Jeff Gilbert, Transportation Planner for the Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization, said a local study shows biking is even higher along the Wasatch Front and in Cache County.
“What we showed is for Cache, if you look at all trip purposes, so not just work related but all trip purposes, our bike trips were about 2.7 percent which was the highest in the state,” Gilbert said.
Those numbers go even higher when you look at just commuting, said Gilbert, who explained that the local study showed 4.7 percent of people in Cache County biking to work.
“I think it’s partly a function of a fairly compact university town. I think it’s a function that we’re a linear development pattern—we’re kind of bounded by the mountains and wetlands to the west, so for the most part we are a compact corridor. I think those things contribute and I also think we have an environmental consciousness that drives some of that,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert said the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee in Cache County has been trying to address the growing popularity of biking by installing covered parking for bikes and promoting the pairing of alternative transit and biking.
Salt Lake City made the Bike League’s list of top 10 cities to brave the elements, with the third-most bike commuters in one of the nation’s snowiest places.