Bike-PGH, a Pittsburgh-based bike advocacy group, recently released an article about how the Steel City ranks against other cities in the US on the percentage of trips that are taken by bike commuters versus other forms of transportation (bus, walkers, single-occupant cars, etc).
Part of the article was the data collected and presented by the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey and had a list of the top bike-commuting cities in the country. And Columbus ranks #21!
The report gives Columbus a 0.9% rating for the percentage of trips that are made by bike commuters who live in Columbus. This does not include people who live in other communities such as Dublin or Gahanna who ride to their jobs in Columbus. And it doesn't handle a count of multi-modal transportation users - so folks who ride partway and bus the rest have to pick one form of transportation as their mode.
But the point is that just under 1% of people in Columbus ride their bikes to work. That's a great statistic and definitely one that the city should take notice of.
Another interesting statistic, and one that planners and advocates should take into account, is the ratio of men to women who commute by bike in a city. Nationwide, the ratio is 2 men to 1 women who ride to work, and Columbus follows that trend with 1.2% of men who ride versus 0.6% of women. And my personal experience bears this out - I hear many more women than men tell me that they'd love to ride to work, if only it was more safe. And my unscientific view of who's out there riding each day seems to favor the number of men on their bikes.
So it seems that a good tactic for getting more riders out riding, period, is to find out what women want when it comes to bike commuting, because for every one woman we get out on her bike, we're likely to get two men!
People, not speed.