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The Alliance for Biking and Walking began using the Benchmarking Report on Bicycling and Walking in the United States (Benchmarking Report) to track data on these two modes of transportation in 2007. This is the sixth edition of the Benchmarking Report and the first edition published by the League of American Bicyclists (the League). The League is proud to continue this publication to provide a resource for practitioners and partners interested in making biking and walking better.

State of Bicycling & Walking in the United States


Based on the data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more people died in 2016 whilebicycling and walking than in any year in a quarter century. Over the course of the six editions of the Benchmarking Report, the 3-year average for bicyclist fatalities increased by 102 deaths to 795 (a 14.7% increase) and the 3-year average for pedestrian fatalities has increased by 767 deaths to 5,464 (a 16.3% increase)

The increase in bicyclist and pedestrian deaths exceeds a general increase in traffic fatalities. In 2007, the first year the enchmarking Report was published, people who biked and walked made up 2.9% of traffic fatalities. The most recent available data, from 016, show that people who bike and walk now make up 18.2% of traffic fatalities. Although efforts have been made to improve conditions for people who bike and walk, this trend points to a continued need to boost safety.

Despite increases in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities nationwide,
some states and cities experienced more people bicycling and walking– and fewer fatalities. For example, Oregon has the nation’s lowest rate of bicyclist fatalities per bike commuter (1.7 deaths per 10,000 bicycle commuters), with a 30.9% decrease in the number of bicyclist fatalities (from an average of 11 deaths per year from 2007-11 to 7.6 deaths per year from 2012-2016) and a 46.5% increase in the number of bicycle commuters (from 29,156 in 2007 to 42,725 in 2016). This suggests that bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities are not inevitable when people bike and walk more but may be reduced through proactive policy, nfrastructure, education, and other community investments in bicycling and walking

Bicyclists & Pedestrians, photo courtesy of Teton County, WY

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In recent years, the Benchmarking data points towards cities moving more aggressively than states to plan for bicyclists and pedestrians. Complete Streets policies andbicycle/pedestrian master plans now cover almost all of the
50 most populous cities – with 40 and 49 of those cities having each, respectively.

Celebration, photo courtesy of St. Petersburg Bicycle Co-op


This chapter provides context for the Benchmarking Report, including a description of the project’s history, goals and objectives, and data development methodology


Six vignettes describe people who promote bicycling and walking through their jobs, using data in the Benchmarking Report. Their stories provide models for other people interested in maximizing the use of such data to inspire and enable more bicycling and walking.


24 Smart Growth America and National Complete Streets Coalition. The Elements of a Complete Streets Policy: Effective 2018. Available at
25 See Footnote 24 at p. 4.
26 American Heart Association. Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). (HR 22 sec. 1442. “Safety for Users” requires the Secretary to
encourage standard adoption). Available at See
also National Complete Streets Coalition. How does the FAST Act impact Complete Streets projects? Available at



According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, second edition, adults should avoid inactivity, since adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and
vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.1 2



Obesity is associated with negative health implications, including several chronic diseases. Together with diet, research supports physical activity as an essential strategy for obesity prevention, including active transportation.1 3 Bicycling and walking may reduce obesity, since one study found that these active commuting modes reduce BMI over a one-year period and, conversely, switching from biking, walking, or transit to a personal motor vehicle increased BMI.1 4 This observed decrease in BMI was particularly prominent for people who biked to work throughout the studied period. 1 5



At least 60% of communities that receive a Silver award or better report at least higher-than-average bicycle education in public schools based on the percentage of schools that offer bicycle safety education and whether that education includes on-bike instruction. A community rated “Average” has significant bike education activities in at least one of elementary, middle, or high school but often does not require students to ride a bicycle as part of those activities. A community rated “Excellent” requires students to ride a bicycle as part of their bicycle safety education in at least one education level and holds activities in each education level.





It is only in the 20th century that streets were designed to separate the mobility function from the economic and social functions

WP Default Quote block: It is only in the 20th century that streets were designed to separate the mobility function from the economic and social functions


Walking & Bicycling Program Manager
at the Atlanta Regional Commission
Atlanta, GA

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