PBIC report explores conditions of bicycling and walking

News Brief

June 16, 2021

CHAPEL HILL , NC — The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has released a 15-year status report detailing the trends and changes in bicycling and walking since the publishing of the National Bicycling and Walking Study in 1994. The full report, funded by the Federal Highway Administration, can be accessed at www.walkinginfo.org/15_year_report/

Since 1994, there has been an increase in bicycling and walking, and a decrease in pedestrian and bike fatalities and injuries across the United States. The report includes data from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey, which states walking trips accounted for 10.9 percent of all trips and one percent of all trips reported were taken by bike; together accounting for 11.9 percent of all trips. This represents an approximate 25 percent increase for both modes since 2001. In regards to safety, the nation has witnessed a 12 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities and a 22.3 percent decrease in fatalities among bicyclists, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. NHTSA data also indicates that there was a 17.8 percent and a 14.7 percent decrease in pedestrian and bicyclists injuries, respectively.

In the original National Bicycling and Walking Study, the US Department of Transportation established two goals: To double the percentage of total trips made by bicycling and walking in the United States from 7.9 percent to 15.8 percent of all travel trips, and to simultaneously reduce the number of bicyclists and pedestrians killed or injured in traffic crashes by 10 percent.

“While the goal of doubling the percentage of total bicycling and walking trips has not been met, an increase has occurred and the safety goal outlined in the 1994 study has been exceeded,” said Laura Sandt, PBIC associate director. “We are really excited about the progress outlined in the report, but fully recognize the need for continued support to make walking and bicycling safer and more convenient.”

The report also examines a range of efforts, including programs at the Federal, State and local level, to increase bicycling and walking in the United States. Programs such as Safe Routes to School and pedestrian safety training courses for professionals emphasize the health, transportation and quality of life benefits of bicycling and walking.

Since its inception in 1999, PBIC's mission has been to improve the quality of life in communities through the increase of safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is maintained by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.


Additional Resources:


The National Bicycling and Walking Study - Transportation Choices for a Changing America; Final Report, FHWA, 1994, FHWA-PD-94-023.

PBIC Image Library – resource for free pedestrian and bicycle-related images

Collection of pedestrian and bicycle case studies