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Cold Climate Can’t Stop Minneapolis’s Surging Bike Rates

9:37 AM PST on January 20, 2012

Good news out of the Sierra Club Green Transportation Campaign, whose national conservation organizer Rachel Butler brings our attention to Minneapolis’s first ever Bicycle Account [PDF]. The compilation of cycling-related data shows a marked increase in the number of cyclists and a steadily decreasing injury rate to go along with substantial investments in bicycle infrastructure on city streets.

According to the report, some 7,000 Minneapolis residents used a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation to and from work in 2010. That’s nearly twice as many as in 1990 or 2000, when the number of cyclists stayed relatively flat. And, as a share of all commuters, it’s good enough to rank Minneapolis the number two city for bike commuting in the U.S.

The news is yet more evidence that cold weather cities can make cycling an attractive option. In fact, according to the rankings compiled by Copenhagenize, many of the cities with the highest cycling rates are in Northern Europe and Japan. While bicyclists in Minneapolis account for four percent of commute trips, compared to 55 percent in Copenhagen, the number is growing.

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