This is the second year that Cascade Bicycle Club is participating in Drive to Work Day, a celebration of the sacred American ritual of commuting by car. Nowhere else in the world is the stately and funereal procession of motorized vehicles so celebrated.
Last year we noted an alarming fact from the INRIX Scorecard that showed that Vehicle Miles Traveled dropped 3% and congestion fell nearly 30% in our region. The latest data from INRIX and a study by the Texas Transportation Institute further confirm that while congestion has increased around the country in 2009, commuters in the Seattle metropolitan area are not doing their part to drive more.
Again, the trend does not look good for driving ever longer to work as the preferred mode of transportation in Seattle:
Only 54% of Seattleites drive alone to work, and the fastest-growing modes of transportation here are walking and bicycling, according to the American Community Survey administered by the US Census Bureau. In fact, while the percentage differences for Seattle look minor at first glance, people here are nearly three times more likely to walk to work, four times more likely to ride the bus with strangers, and 12 times more likely to bike to work than people in other parts of the country.
This also means that people in the region are spending less time in their cars on average, a minute less than their fellow Americans. Please, do your part. Don’t ride your bike this April 1 – join us for Drive to Work Day.