Tampa Ranked a Top Ten Commuter Cycling City
According to The League of American Bicyclists, Tampa ranks 9th in cycling commuter cities. Nearly 2% of the Tampa population are reported to be commuter cyclists, and that number is also on the rise. The same survey states that commuting by bike in Tampa is up significantly — up 121% from 2009-2010.
These are interesting counter statistics to the recent reports ranking Tampa as one of the top 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians and cyclists. Even knowing the risks associated with riding in Tampa, there is still an increasing number of people choosing to pedal to their destination. Check out the original data here, and some more local perspective on the issue from cycling advocate Alan Snel.
List of top commuter cities:
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA
- San Francisco, CA
- Minneapolis, MN
- Washington, DC
- Tucson, AZ
- Sacramento, CA
- Denver, CO
- Tampa, FL
- Philadelphia, PA
[ source: Bikeleague.org ]
Most Dangerous Metro Areas for Cycling and Pedistrians
- Orlando-Kissimmee, FL
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
- Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
- Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
- Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
[ source: t4america.org ]
So, is Tampa on a head collision with a deadly destiny? Or might we see a more consorted effort to improve the situation for cyclists and pedestrians? That remains to be seen, but there are a number of advocates working for just that.
There has been a grass roots effort to keep the Friendship Bridge alive as a pedestrian/cycling thoroughfare. Most notably, a stay of execution, that gives organizers a chance to propose an alternative to it’s demolition. There is still more work to be done to keep the dream alive. I have been following Alan’s blog to stay informed.
Bicycle commuting is not just on the rise in Tampa, but is increasing on the whole across the country as well. My speculation would be that an increased interest in fitness and the cost of driving are two large motivators to switch from 4 wheels to 2. No, I have no data to back that up. But here’s the data on the rise countrywide:
Count me as one cyclist that would like to see this trend continue. I’d love to become a cycling commuting statistic and make the ride from downtown St. Pete to USF someday. But as of now, I’m too worried about the gaps from the Gandy Bridge to South Tampa. And South Tampa to USF. If anyone can suggest a safe route, I am open to suggestions!