The United States Department of Transportation Report to Congress on the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) showed that bicycling and walking increased (49 percent and 22 percent, respectively) from 2007 to 2010 in the four pilot communities combined (Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis, MN; and Sheboygan County, WI). This 2012 Progress Update incorporates data collected in 2011 and reports that bicycling and walking counts in the four pilot communities continued to rise (67 percent and 31 percent, respectively, see Figure 1) compared to the 2007 baseline.
Since 2007, the pilot communities have undertaken counts of bicyclists and pedestrians at dozens of locations throughout their communities. Figure 2 shows that the 2011 counts increased by 1,252 pedestrians (8.1 percent) and 1,471 bicyclists (11.9 percent) over counts in 2010.1
Because no model was available to meet the reporting needs of the NTPP, the program's Working Group (WG) developed a model to calculate nonmotorized mode share changes for all trip purposes and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) averted at the community level. A description of how this model works can be found in the Report to Congress.
According to estimates from the model, nonmotorized mode share continued to increase, and driving as a mode share decreased in the pilot communities (Figure 3). Specifically, bicycling in the pilot communities increased from an estimated 1.4 percent of mode share in 2010 to 1.5 percent of mode share in 2011 (an increase of 10.1 percent) and walking increased from an estimated 14.6 percent of mode share in 2010 to 15.6 percent of mode share in 2011 (an increase of 7.2 percent). To compare these results to national trends, no data source annually estimates mode share for all trip purposes across all modes. However, it is possible to compare the NTPP results to the findings of the American Community Survey (ACS), which estimates commuter mode share across all modes at a national level. From 2007 to 2010, commuter mode share remained the same for bicycling and walking.2
Similarly, the estimated number of vehicle trips replaced by nonmotorized trips increased in 2011 (Table 1), as did the number of vehicle miles replaced by nonmotorized miles (Figure 4). For walking, an estimated 25.6 vehicle miles were traveled per person (over the age of 16) in 2011, while 16.2 miles were traveled per person by walking in 2010 (an increase of 58 percent). For bicycling, an estimated 14.7 miles were traveled per person in 2011 while 10.7 miles were traveled per person by bicycling in 2010 (an increase of 37 percent).
In sum, an estimated 28.5 million VMT were averted by nonmotorized trips in 2011, and 18.9 million VMT were averted in 2010 (Figure 4), both against the baseline year. An estimated 60.1 percent of those miles were averted by walking in 2010; 63.4 percent of those miles were averted by walking in 2011. This increase is due to more trips being made by walking than by bicycling (an estimated 25.9 million walking trips and 4.6 million bicycling trips in 2011, Table 1), a large increase in walking (based on count data) in Marin and Sheboygan Counties between 2010 and 2011, and a higher initial baseline for walking trips in 2007. Accordingly, walking increasingly accounts for the averted VMTs and associated impacts of the NTPP.
Table 1: Estimated Number of Replaced Vehicle Trips (against 2007 Baseline)
Based on the averted VMT estimated by the NTPP model, Table 2 shows the estimated associated benefits of the NTPP for measures in the Report to Congress for 2010, which are updated for 2011. The associated impacts all improved with the increase in averted VMT between 2010 and 2011.
Table 2: Estimated Air Quality and Energy Savings of the NTPP (against 2007 Baseline)
|Particulate Matter 10 (PM10)||217||327||pounds/year|
|Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5)||205||308||pounds/year|
|Nitrogen Oxide (NOX)||39,651||59,747||pounds/year|
|Carbon Monoxide (CO)||517,548||779,859||pounds/year|
|Carbon Dioxide (CO2)||15,401,235||23,207,099||pounds/year|
|CO2||21.9||32.8||pounds/person per year|
|Gasoline||1.19||1.78||gallons/person per year|
|BTUs||95.1 billion||143.3 billion||per year|
As this Progress Update shows, the NTPP is providing increasing benefits for the pilot communities year over year. It is expected that these benefits will increase as the final NTPP projects are constructed and people become more comfortable and familiar with walking and bicycling in their communities. The FHWA plans to provide an update again in 2013 summarizing 2012 data and associated results.
1 Sheboygan County did not count users in 2008 and 2009; accordingly, 2008 counts were assumed to be one-third of the community's 2010 counts and 2009 counts were assumed to be two-thirds of the community's 2011 counts.
2 ACS, Table S0801 - Commuting Characteristics by Sex, 1-year estimates for 2007 and 2010.