The U.S. Census came out with a report this week showing a greater percentage of Rochesterians walk to work than the national average. The data was based on census surveys between 2008 and 2012.
In the city of Rochester, 6.2 percent of people walk to work. That ranks us 15th among large cities in the percentage of walkers. In Monroe County, 3.3 percent of commuters walk to work. The national average for walking to work is 2.8 percent.
The report also shows bicycling is on the rise in Monroe County. In 2000, .2 percent of workers biked to their jobs. In 2012, .7 percent did. The national average is .6 percent. The number of bicycle commuters nationwide went up 60 percent over the last decade.
(Check out this cool interactive map of commuting in the U.S. You can drill down to census tracts.)
The number of people who bike and walk to work remains low around the country, but has increased steadily increased steadily in recent years. More than 80 percent of us still drive alone to work, but there are good reasons to support alternative modes of transportation. Walking and biking is good for your health and cuts down on pollution, traffic congestion and wear on roads.
Of course, not everyone can ditch driving to work. But there are people who want to. Studies show Millennials want to live in places where they don’t have to rely on cars. This generation wants walkable cities.
This has implications for Rochester, which is designing streets to be more friendly to bicycles and pedestrians. It has implications for where we build things, too. It also has implications for drivers, as they get used to sharing the road. (Drivers through Pittsford are now learning this.)
Links of the Day:
– Governor Cuomo’s spokesman really stepped in it this week.
– The legacy of Rochester’s Ramon Santiago is caught up in a criminal case and family feud.
– The number of “dead malls” has nearly tripled since 2006.
– Why Hooters wants Bob Duffy to pay them a visit.
– People name their kids after Game of Thrones characters.