Bicycling Sustainability Indicator
This year, the Council will update the City's Sustainability Indicators. Looking through them, it struck me that there were two problems with the only indicator regarding bicycling, which commits the City to "add 44 miles of bicycle lanes and trails to 2004 levels by 2015, 14 miles of on-street lanes and 30 miles of off-street trails."
First, the City is poised to far exceed these targets much earlier than 2015, in part due to the Non-motorized Transportation Program. Second, while bikeways are important, what we care about more is our bicycling mode share. When we talk about being the second bike-friendliest city in the country, we're talking about our bike commuting mode share of 3.8% (second only to Portland's 3.9%).
I brought this opportunity to the City's Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) two months ago. They agreed that we should change these targets, and a group of interested people met and corresponded with me to create a proposal. We brought it to today's BAC, and the group voted unanimously in favor of the following targets:
1) Mode share. Reach a bicycling mode share of 6% by 2014, with a milestone of 5% by 2011.
2) Lanes and trails. Increase on-street lanes and off-street trails by a combined 55 miles from 2008 levels by 2015.
3) Bike counts. Increase the number of cyclists measured in bike counts (at the same locations at which bike counts have already been taken) by 60% over the 2008 baseline by 2014, with a milestone of 30% by 2011.
These goals are much more aggressive than what the City has aimed for in the past. I'm hopeful that the Council will ratify the good work of the BAC and formally adopt these goals in the new Sustainability Plan.