Boston sees bump in daily bike rides post COVID
The Boston metro region is one of several cities that has seen a bump in urban cycling since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why it matters: The increase in popularity comes as Boston plans to add 9.4 miles of new bike lanes around the city in the next few years, and as a proposal to add more bike lanes in Cambridge sparks controversy over the potential impact on traffic and parking.
Driving the news: The number of average daily bike trips per 1,000 people in the Boston metro area rose by 9 — from 26 to 35 — between 2019-2022, according to a new report from mobility data firm StreetLight Data.
- StreetLight uses GPS and other location data to measure urban transportation patterns.
- Urban bike share programs, like Bluebikes in Boston, gained popularity during the pandemic, as well as during the monthlong Orange Line shutdown in 2022, when the city of Boston offered free program passes.
The big picture: At the national level, pandemic-era cycling fever appears to be lingering, with the number of average daily bike trips per 1,000 people increasing in almost every major U.S. metro area between 2019-2022.
By the numbers: The annual nationwide average for daily bike trips grew 37% between 2019-2022.
- Most cycling activity is concentrated in and around big cities — the 100 largest metros accounted for 77% of bike activity nationwide in 2022, up from 72% in 2019.
Reality check: Bicycling still comes with safety risks, especially on car-dominated roads.
- Boston reported 243 overall injuries and one fatality from bike crashes in 2022, according to city data.
Yes, but: Bicyclist deaths in the city have dropped in recent years, even as the number of bike trips increases.
More Boston stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Boston.