Tucson fell just short of being crowned the People for Bikes best Cargo Biking City.
The unscientific count was organized by the advocacy organization to promote everyday cycling and participants counted all bicycles and cargo bikes for an hour at one intersection in their city.
Tucson’s count took place at Fourth Avenue and University Boulevard and had 17 cargo bikes — the most cargo bikes counted of any city including Portland — cycle through the intersection.
Unfortunately for Tucson People for Bikes looked at the overall concentration of cargo bikes, which made Memphis the overall winner.
Here’s what they had to say about the count:
Then there was Tucson, the longstanding biking capital of the American Southwest. Evren Sönmez of the Living Streets Alliance camped out Thursday at 4th Avenue and the University Boulevard bike boulevard, and saw 202 bikes pass by, second only to Portland. Of those, an impressive 17 were cargo-ready.
That was the highest raw count of any city — so if all we’d been doing was measuring the total number of cargo bikes, we’d be handing the first monthly prize to Tucson.
Memphis spotted nine cargo bikes in the hour, but it was a much higher percentage of the overall bikes counted.
We knew, looking at these figures, that a tight race was shaping up between Memphis and Tucson. Here’s how we combined them: we took our two metrics (number of cargo bikes and proportion of cargo bikes) and graded each one on a curve, just like in chemistry class. The top-scoring city in each category got 100 points and other cities got points in proportion to their own relative scores. Then we averaged the two equally-weighted scores.
Memphis finished with 76.5 points. Tucson finished with 76.2. It was a photo finish, but we had a winner. Memphis, Tennessee, pedals away with this month’s title.
People for Bikes will continue the counts throughout the summer. The next one is bikes with front baskets.
Check out the full post and see how the other participating cities did.