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DC Is a Top City for Biking and Walking to Work

A new report finds that biking and walking traffic has increased—and so have fatalities.

A 2012 report on bicycling and walking in the US said DC has the highest level of bikers and walkers, after Boston. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Mr. T in DC.

Washingtonians may be rude and have a bit of a drinking problem, but at least we live in one of the top-ranked cities for walking and biking.

The newest benchmarking report on bicycling and walking gave DC the second-highest ranking for cycling and walking levels among US cities. The report, released by the Alliance for Biking & Walking, also ranked Maryland and Virginia 32 and 36, respectively, among states.

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From 1990 to 2009, the number of commuters who bike to work in the US increased from 0.4 to 0.6 percent, while the number of walkers decreased from 3.9 to 2.9 percent. DC ranked seventh among cities for commuters who bike to work, and came in second, behind Boston, for commuters who walk to work.

The really good news is that DC has the best per-capita funding devoted to bikers and pedestrians compared with all major cities. The bad news? Virginia and Maryland have the lowest per-capita funding, falling to 49 and 50, respectively.

More bad news: While the number of cyclist and pedestrian deaths decreased from 2005 to 2009 nationwide, combined they still account for 30 percent of traffic fatalities in major US cities. (On the upside, DC remains a safe place to bike—it’s ranked fourth after Honolulu, Milwaukee, and Omaha, respectively.)

Interestingly, when it came to gender, there wasn’t much of a difference between the number of men and women who walked to work. However, 76 percent of cyclists are male, while only 24 percent are female.

To read the full report, click here.

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