Interviews reveal what Chicago cyclists want

Happy New Year!

I’ll keep this one light as you focus on catching up on all the emails you missed over the holiday – or maybe you need a distraction (there’s comfort in stillness). We published every weekday through the holidays so take a minute to follow up on those articles (a list and summary at the bottom). But if you want to keep reading, this is what we have in store for you today: the Bike Fancy catalog of interviews.


Jennifer and sons at Cortland Street and Paulina Street. Read their interview. Photo by Martha Williams

I emailed Martha a while ago and suggested she use the rich data she had in the personal interviews she conducted with Chicago’s citizen cyclists. Data that can be used to help guide development of bikeway planning (similar to what the Streets for Cycling 2020 Plan is doing). So I gave her some tips on how to put it together and two days ago she published the results.

The question: “How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?”
The people: 73 Chicagoans Martha Williams stopped on the street
The answers: 94 comments categorized into 10 topics

The number one topic is “more courtesy/awareness from both drivers and cyclists”. Read the full post for more information, and for key quotes from some of the interview subjects.

New Census data

This isn’t the only new bit of data. I recently updated our About page where there’s a table of commuting statistics for quick and easy reference. The United States Census Bureau recently released the most recent data from the 5-year American Community Survey. It’s designed to be just as accurate and broad as the decennial census, but new, overlapping 5-year sets will be released annually. Right now there are two 5-year sets. Aside from the occasional counts the city or Active Trans/Chicago Park District do, its the most reliable and consistent count and even breaks it down into men and women.

Here’s the table:

Mode 2006-2010 (most recent) 2005-2009 2000 decennial census Notes
Car (alone) 50.9% 51.3% 50.1% Down slightly
Car (with others) 10.0% 10.3% 14.5% Down
Transit (excluding taxis) 26.6% 25.9% 25.3% Up slightly
Bike 1.1% 1.0% 0.5% Up
Walking 5.8% 5.7% 5.7% Same
Sample size 1,219,311 1,267,895 1,192,139 Workers 16 and older (who had a job at the time of survey).

Are you a data junkie like me? Check out our previous articles on crash data as well as on my personal blog, Steven Can Plan. If you ever have data questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me.

Holiday posts

In case you missed them (is this saying we don’t take breaks?).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *