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Dive Brief:

  • Bike activity in the U.S. was up 10% in the summer of 2021 compared to 2019 and was virtually flat compared to the summer of 2020, according to a report this month from Streetlight Data. The report relies on data from Streetlight's InSight Multimode Metrics, which records and analyzes ridership of different transportation modes.
  • The increase in cycling was a nationwide trend, but some cities showed greater increases than others. Atlanta and Las Vegas, for example, saw bicycling traffic rise by 25% in 2021 compared to 2019 despite showing modest gains in 2020, while the mid-sized cities of Birmingham, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; and Little Rock, Arkansas all had gains of 50% or more.
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There was no single story across the country, Morzynski said, but there was a clear correlation between infrastructures like protected bike lanes or open streets and bike traffic. For example, he said, Des Moines, Iowa, saw its bike traffic increase 49% in 2020 and it is still up 30% in 2021 compared to 2019, even as people resume commuting. That, he said, is in part because of the city's existing network of trails leading into downtown that make it easier for new riders to commute.

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