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Accountability--At What Price?

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Eugene Beats Portland on Bike Friendliness

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 10:27 AM

A while ago, I directed Blogtownies to take the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's big survey of cyclists. Well, BTA communications coordinator Margaux Mennesson just released the results. The questions posed to roughly 2,000 bike riders (and a handful of non cyclists) in Oregon and SW Washington reveal some interesting stats.

But it's obvious that the survey does not accurately represent most Portland cyclists: a whopping one-third of people who took the survey reported incomes of over $90,000. Ninety percent had a 4-year college degree. Unless there's a lot of Plaid Pantry workers hilariously screwing with the BTA survey, the participant demographics mean we now mostly know more about how rich people bike in Oregon.

From the survey results:

• 85 percent of local cyclists also own cars.
• Portland isn't the least car-centric city in the state. That honor goes to Eugene, where 20 percent of survey participants reported not owning a car. Thirteen percent of Portlanders surveyed did not own a car.
• Eugene survey participants also beat Portland on how frequently they ride. Eugene participants reported making 55 percent of trips by bike, Bend/Sisters reported 46 and Portland came in third at 43 percent.
• Why does Eugene rank higher? Cuz cyclists feel the roads there are safer and more accessible.
• Eleven percent of BTA memebers quit the organization because they disagreed with a policy, six percent because they were disappointed overall. But 41 percent of former members said they did not renew for financial reasons.
• BTA membership is predominantly "affluent intermediate and advanced cyclists" age 35 and up. (as seen in $90,000 disclaimer above...)

Download the survey results with its plethora of nerdy graphs here.

You know how else Eugene kicks Portland's ass at biking? They have a genuine bike hearse. How are Portlanders supposed to die green eco-sustainable deaths without a fleet of bike hearses?!

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