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Report: Bike commuting rises dramatically in Minneapolis

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Just in time for National Bike to Work Day Friday, a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau says Minneapolis saw a significant jump in the number of people who ride a bike to work, the Star Tribune reports.

According to the report, titled, “Modes Less Traveled: Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008-2012,” the number of commuters who pedal to work rose from 1.9 percent in 2000 to 4.1 percent in 2012. That's the second-highest number of bike commuters in cities with a population of 200,000 – second only to Portland, Oregon.

The only other cities with a bike commuter rate of 3 percent or higher are Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Boise, Idaho, Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin, the report says.

Minneapolis has an estimated 8,300 bike commuters. The numbers plunge downward, though, when the seven-county metro area is taken into account. The report says the bike commuter rate is 0.9 percent in the area, slightly below the national average of 1 percent.

The report comes on the heels of a study by Homeowners Insurance that found Minneapolis was No. 1 in the Midwest when it came to developing and promoting green commuting practices, which includes biking to work.

The city says it has also been ranked as one of the best biking city in the country by Bike Score, and the No. 2 biking city by Bicycling Magazine.

Meanwhile, work continues on the Bluff Street Bike Trail, which will connect the University of Minnesota to downtown Minneapolis.

The Star Tribune reports the stretch – which is less than a quarter-mile long – will cost $3 million, making it the most expensive bike path in the city.

In 2012, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said 16 percent of people surveyed said they biked at least once a week.

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