Bicycle Trends

Bicyclists stopped at a light.

Bicycle Trends in Cambridge

Cambridge promotes bicycling as a healthy, environmentally friendly way of getting around as an important part of the City's efforts to improve mobility and protect our environment. Cambridge is well suited to bicycling and more people are using their bikes every day for commuting, shopping, and general transportation.

This summary document provides some highlights about bicycling in the city.

NEW - Counting into the Future

In 2015, Cambridge installed a permanent bicycle count station in Kendall Square, on Broadway.

Image of bike counter in Kendall Square

The “Eco Totem” counter (made by the Montreal-based company Eco-Counter) counts cyclists via in-ground loop detectors and displays on the monitor how many cyclists pass by. The counter displays daily and cumulative totals and also captures weather data to use for analytical purposes. The data can be used in many ways:

  • To publicly show how many people are bicycling and make a statement that “bicyclists count”
  • The 24/7 data can be used to analyze daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal patterns. This can be used to help extrapolate data from other counts
  • The data assist with determining crash rate analyses

Live tracking of the counter available here.

More People Bicycling

The percentage of Cantabrigians who commute by bicycle has also been rising steadily over the past two decades. The 1990 US Census reported that 3% of residents commuted by bicycle; by 2000 that number rose to 4%; the American Community Survey for the three year period 2009-2011 shows 7% of residents commuting by bike.

Additional local surveys of Cambridge residents suggest that from 7% to 9% of Cambridge residents commute to work by bike. Local surveys also found a lot of bikes in Cambridge: for every 100 households, there are approximately 150 bicycles.

Traffic counts conducted by the city found that between 2002 and 2012, rush hour bicycle trips in Cambridge tripled in number. In 2014, the total numbers actually took a dip down, although detailed analysis seems to identify construction impacts as a primary cause. Click here for more information.  

For more information on trends in bicycling in Cambridge, look to our Bicycle Counts Report.

For More Information

For more information, please contact Cara Seiderman at 617/349-4629 or