It’s something that we all either suspected or downright knew… there are more and more Torontonians hopping on their bikes to do “utility” cycling (getting around by bike to do normal day-to-day things, like going to work, picking stuff up from the store, visiting friends, etc.)
Now our gut feelings have the hard data to match! The City of Toronto has just released the results of a 2009 study with questions that matched those in a 1999 study (asking the same questions is *essential* for any meaningful trend analysis when working with stats):
The survey, conducted in 2009 by Ipsos Reid, found that more Toronto residents were cycling to school and work than 10 years ago. A total of 16 per cent said they used their bicycles to commute to work or school, up from 11 per cent in 1999. And many of those who commute by bike are riding more days a week than in the past.
In addition to there being more people on bikes, the survey has also indicated (as so many other surveys about cycling have in the past) that cycling infrastructure that improves safety and bicycle parking facilities are the most important wished-for items from Toronto’s cyclists:
Investments in the cycling infrastructure over the past 10 years are being recognized and the survey reveals that 72 per cent of Torontonians believe that the overall quality of cycling routes and facilities has improved compared to 1999. However, cyclists and non-cyclists alike agree that having more bike lanes on streets would have the greatest impact on improving cycling in the city. In fact, 66 per cent of non-cyclists, 77 per cent of utilitarian cyclists and 68 per cent of recreational cyclists believe that separated bike lanes on city streets would greatly improve cycling in Toronto.
In addition to a comprehensive cycling network, the importance of bicycle parking facilities is also articulated. The survey showed that secure bicycle parking at transit stations has the potential to increase combined cycling and transit trips. One third of cyclists reported combining biking and public transportation sometimes. The majority of these cyclists (74 per cent of utilitarian and 66 per cent of recreational cyclists) say they would combine cycling and public transit more often if secure bicycle parking was provided at subway stations.
You can read more about the results on the City of Toronto’s webpage.
Key Findings from the 2009 City of Toronto Cycling Survey (PDF)
Full Survey Results and Comparison between 1999 and 2009 (PDF)