2007 Benchmarking Report “Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.” - Thunderhead Alliance
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2007 Benchmarking Report “Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.”

The Thunderhead Alliance Benchmarking Project is an on-going effort to collect and analyze data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states and at least the 50 most-populated U.S. cities. Thunderhead will continue to expand the scope of this project while refining its methods. This first biennial report was released August 29, 2007. The next report is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2009.

Cover, Acknowledgements, Preface (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Chapter 1:Introduction (PDF)
Chapter 2: Data Collection (PDF)
Chapter 3: Current Status of Bicycling (PDF)
Chapter 4: Current Status of Walking (PDF)
Chapter 5: Bicycling & Walking Policies & Provisions (PDF)
Chapter 6: Thunderhead Alliance Bicycle & Pedestrian Advocacy (PDF)
Chapter 7: Factors Influencing Cycling, Walking and Safety (PDF)
Chapter 8: Impacts of Cycling & Walking on Public Health (PDF)
Chapter 9: Conclusions (PDF)
Chapter 10: Recommendations (PDF)
Appendices & Bibliography (PDF)

To request graph files and illustrations from this report contact Kristen “at” thunderheadalliance.org



Main Findings from 2007 Benchmarking Report:

A positive relationship exists between the built environment and levels of biking and walking.
Where levels of biking and walking are higher, bicycle and pedestrian safety is greater.
Cities with strong Thunderhead organizations generally have high levels of biking and walking.
Higher levels of biking and walking coincide with lower levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes and higher levels of adults meeting recommended levels of daily physical activity. This suggests that increased biking and walking would contribute to a healthier society.
Data revealed that while some cities and states lead others as models for bicycle and pedestrian policies and provisions, all states and cities have a need for improvement.

Data Collected for 2007 Benchmarking Report:

  • Bicycling and walking levels and demographics
  • Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities
  • Bicycle and pedestrian policies and provisions
  • Funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects
  • Bicycle and pedestrian staffing levels
  • Written policies on bicycling and walking
  • Bicycle infrastructure including bike lanes, paths, signed bike routes, and bicycle parking
  • Bike-transit integration including presence of bike racks on buses, bike parking at transit stops, and hours per week that bicycles are allowed on trains
  • Public health indicators including levels of obesity, physical activity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Detailed report data will be available for download soon. Contact kristen “at” thunderheadalliance.org for questions on data.


Benchmarking Project Objectives

(1) Improve Data Collection and Availability

Thunderhead’s Benchmarking Project identifies gaps in collection and availability of data on bicycling and walking. This project also provides data on cycling and walking to states and cities in a standardized format that otherwise does not exist.

(2) Measure Progress and Evaluate Results

Thunderhead’s Benchmarking Project provides data to Thunderhead member organizations and government officials in a format that helps them measure their progress towards increasing bicycling and walking and evaluate the results of their efforts.

(3) Support Efforts to Increase Bicycling and Walking

Ultimately, this Benchmarking Project supports the efforts of bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations and government officials to increase bicycling and walking in their communities. This project also provides a means for cities and states to compare themselves to one another, highlight and praise successes, encourage communities making progress, and make communities aware of areas needing more effort.

Partners and Supporters

This report was made possible with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Planet Bike, and Bikes Belong Coalition. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) review committee ensures that our biennial Benchmarking Reports are realistic and valuable to traffic engineers.

Thunderhead Alliance member organizations are vital to the success of this project.