Recently the League of American Bicyclists released the rankings of all fifty states according to their bikeability and based on a Bicycle Friendly State questionnaire filled out by a Bicycle Coordinator of each state. The questions were divided into five categories: Legislation & Enforcement, Policies & Programs, Infrastructure & Funding, Education & Encouragement, and Evaluation& Planning.
Based on their findings, here are the 7 bicycle-friendliest states:
Washington ranks first as a bicycle friendly state and it has been for eight years in a row. Washington D.C. has realized that investing in bicycling contributes to the better health of people and builds healthier communities and local economies. The League of American Bicyclists provided a solution for businesses and encouraged bicycling to work, where there would be bike parking for employees and customers, which can in turn increase the traffic and integrity of a company. In Washington there are 16 bicycle friendly communities, 34 businesses and 1 university. The goal is to raise even more awareness and have more people riding their bikes, but these results are something to be satisfied about.
Minnesota ranks second on the list of bicycle friendly states. There are 16 communities, 68 businesses and 2 universities that are bicycle friendly. Minnesota has been in the top five on the list of bicycle friendly states since 2008, which shows how much effort is put into advocating bicycling and developing the necessary infrastructure. Minnesota Department of Transportation bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Tim Mitchell, says that the collective goal of the state is to become the most Bicycle Friendly State, and they are making progress and more and more agencies are starting to support bicycling.
Last year, Delaware ranked fourth on this list, and this year it moved up to third place, and was ranked higher than all the other states on the east coast. Governor Markell said that by improving their trails and making this state a more bikeable city, the quality of life in this community has become better, so he considers it a good and smart investment. This contributed to Delaware becoming a better place for people to live and work, enjoying the benefits of a better economic situation and health. In 2008, Delaware was on the 31st place on the list of 50 states according to bicycle friendliness. This shows how much this state has progressed and how much effort has been put into it.
Ranked fourth on the Bicycle Friendly States list, Massachusetts has 8 communities, 33 businesses and 2 universities that are bicycle friendly. This is a great improvement when compared to the rankings from the previous 10 years. This great result was achieved thanks to the great teamwork of government, bicycling advocates and the bicyclists who choose to ride their bikes to work, university and for recreation. Massachusetts’ goal is to become the first ranked bicycling state in the U.S. and it is moving in the right direction.
The fifth ranked Bicycle Friendly State in America currently has 6 communities, 25 businesses and 2 universities that are bicycle friendly. As the Governor of Utah, Gary R. Gerbert says, the state has worked hard to provide great bicycling opportunities in Utah, so that the residents could use bikes to commute to work, or for recreation in the beautiful nature of this state. They are planning to work even harder in order to make Utah one of the best places in America to live and work, as well as enjoy and relax.
Ranked 6th on this year’s list, Oregon was the first state in the U.S. that made a Bike Friendly Business program having in mind the needs of bicycle riders. This state has 10 communities, 38 businesses and 4 universities that are bicycle friendly, and Portland is its most bicycle friendly city, with more than 17,000 people using their bikes to go to work every day.
Colorado is the 7th most bicycle friendly state in America, with 21 bicycle friendly communities, 71 such businesses and 4 universities. In 2013 Colorado was ranked second, last year it went to sixth place, and this year it is ranked 7th. It seems that Colorado stopped making serious efforts, or the competition has become more determined to be the best. Either way, Colorado is still among the top 10 and if the government puts in a little more effort, it will probably stay that way.