Bike use climbs in Mountain View | October 5, 2012 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - October 5, 2012

Bike use climbs in Mountain View

by Daniel DeBolt

Bicycle advocates are buzzing about new census data which shows that bicycling to work is on the rise in Mountain View — so much so that it is now just about equal to that of Portland, Ore., the self-proclaimed "bike capital" of America.

In 2011, the percentage of commuters using bikes in Mountain View jumped from 4.1 percent to 6.2 percent, according to the American Community Survey, a product of the U.S. Census Bureau. That is just shy of Portland's 6.3 percent.

"That's pretty incredible, considering we haven't upgraded our bike network in a while," said resident Jarrett Mullen. "Imagine how high we could go if the city revamped the city-wide network."

Mullen acknowledged the impact of the city's creekside trails in promoting bike use, but is also pushing for safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians elsewhere, especially in the Rengstorff Park area.

"It does seem like a rather big jump from the 4.1 percent in 2010, or the 3.3 percent for 2008-10," said bike advocate Andrew Boone of Mountain View's numbers. "But the data for Palo Alto show the same trend — a rapid increase in bicycling to work over the past few years. Sunnyvale shows an increase as well, though less impressive."

In 2011, Palo Alto also saw big gains, going from 8.6 percent to 10.1 percent and passing Boulder, Colo. (9.6 percent) to become the No. 2 bike city in the country. Davis, the Central Valley college town, still tops the charts for cities, with 16.6 percent. Stanford is at a whopping 40 percent, though it is considered a "census designated place," and not a city.

The number of people biking to work in Mountain View has steadily increased since 2005, when the number was at 2.8 percent.

What is causing the increase?

"I suspect that safety education and encouragement programs at Stanford University, the Palo Alto Unified School District, Google, and the businesses in the Moffett Business Park in Sunnyvale are driving these increases at least as much as improved infrastructure," Boone said.

Email Daniel DeBolt at


Like this comment
Posted by Mik
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Biking is fun and dope yo!!!

Like this comment
Posted by BOB
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 6, 2012 at 9:27 am

Maybe the increase is the 100s of Google bikes racing around town. They seem to park and ride everywhere sine the campus has spread.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

The statistic is the number of Mountain View residents who bike from home to work.

Like this comment
Posted by William Symons
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

Every school day you can count 60 or more bikes at the bike racks at Huff Elem. I think that is about 10%..

At least one Los Altos Elementary school has a program where the bike to school kids get counted electronically, and get incentives to bike to school.

Like this comment
Posted by Luis
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Where is the commuter info from the Census Bureau? I can only seem to find 2010 data

Like this comment
Posted by Luis
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Actually, just found the source... but can't be sure what the actual data or its reliability is...
Web Link

I can only infer that they are using the "means of transportation" for those that did not answer any vehicle info... still that's only about 5% of all survey answers.
It would be awesome to find the correlation to time to work. Maybe the change is because Googlers are moving to MV and biking to work?