Minneapolis sees surge in residents choosing to walk or bike to work

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 20, 2013 - 2:35 PM

Minneapolis residents are increasingly choosing to walk or bike to work, leaving more room on streets and highways for others.

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In this file photo, bicyclists and cars co-exist while heading south in heavy traffic along Portland Ave., near E. Grant Street on Aug. 30, 2012, in Minneapolis.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

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Minneapolis residents are increasingly choosing to walk or bike to work, leaving more room on streets and highways for others, according to the latest census data.

More than 11 percent of the city’s residents opted for one of the two nonmotorized options in 2012, the Census Bureau’s American community Survey found. That’s a nearly 25 percent increase from the 9.2 percent who walked or biked in 2011.

“City policies and priorities seek to increase the number of trips made by bicycle or walking among city residents, workers and visitors,” the city said in a statement addressing the data. “Walking and biking instead of driving has many benefits, including less greenhouse gas pollution, less traffic congestion, less maintenance costs for roadways and most importantly, a healthier population.”

In 2012, 6.9 percent chose walking to work and another 4.5 percent pedaled, according to the survey. In 2011, those percentages were 5.8 walking and 3.4 biking.

On a per capita basis, the survey found that Minneapolis was second last year in commuting on a bike. Portland, Ore., was first.

Nationally, the census figures for 2012 showed 2.8 percent walked to work and 0.6 percent biked.

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