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5 U.S. Cities Where Bike Commuting Is Booming

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists traces how long-term planning and infrastructure investments allowed some cities to grow their share of bicycle commuters. 

A cyclist on the new protected bike lane on Causeway Street in Boston in 2018. New cycling infrastructure has helped the city grow its bike commuting community. 

A cyclist on the new protected bike lane on Causeway Street in Boston in 2018. New cycling infrastructure has helped the city grow its bike commuting community. 

Photographer: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In 2019, just 0.5% of U.S. commuters rode a bike to work, the smallest share of any mode. But tiny shifts can make a big difference. Data-driven bike plans, safety improvements and supportive political leadership helped boost bike commute rates in several cities in recent years, according to a new report from the League of American Bicyclists. 

In “Benchmarking Bike Networks,” the country’s largest bicycling advocacy organization takes stock of the best infrastructure and policy practices for getting more people pedaling. It spotlights Boston; Chicago; Austin, Texas; Oakland, California; and Missoula, Montana — cities of diverse size and geography where bike commute shares are more than twice the national average and have increased over the last decade. Ken McLeod, the League’s policy director, hopes they can serve as models for other communities.