Bike to Work Day is May 16th this year, which may be easier for some of you than others. We dug around to uncover the the countries best and worst cities for bikers. How did yours fare?
Bicycling.com is known for their top lists on biking cities, and they look at a range of things in order to come up with their rankings. At the top of their scouting pecking order? Segregated bike lanes, municipal bike racks and bike boulevards. You’ve got to have a vibrant and diverse bike culture and smart, savvy bike shops. They look only at cities with populations of 100,000 or more (you’ve got to narrow it down somehow!) but strive for geographical diversity (otherwise half of the list might be California).
Here is Bicycling.com’s top 50 list:
|1 Minneapolis||26 Boston|
|2 Portland, OR||27 Philadelphia|
|3 Boulder, CO||28 Pittsburgh|
|4 Seattle||29 Charleston, SC|
|5 Eugene, OR||30 Arlington, VA|
|6 San Francisco||31 Sioux Falls, SD|
|7 Madison, WI||32 Boise, ID|
|8 New York City||33 Kansas City, MO|
|9 Tucson, AZ||34 Columbus, OH|
|10 Chicago||35 Tulsa, OK|
|11 Austin, TX||36 Grand Rapids, MI|
|12 Denver||37 Billings, MT|
|13 Washington, DC||38 St. Louis|
|14 Ann Arbor, MI||39 Cleveland|
|15 Phoenix/Tempe, AZ||40 Greensboro, NC|
|16 Gainesville, FL||41 Lexington/Fayette, KY|
|17 Albuquerque, NM||42 Omaha, NE|
|18 Colorado Springs, CO||43 Salt Lake City|
|19 Salem, OR||44 Miami|
|20 Scottsdale, AZ||45 Indianapolis|
|21 Louisville, KY||46 Fargo, ND|
|22 Chattanooga, TN||47 Anchorage, AK|
|23 Long Beach, CA||48 Baltimore|
|24 Cary, NC||49 Little Rock, AR|
|25 Milwaukee||50 Rochester, NY|
Now let’s look at the top five.
Despite their cold winters, Minneapolis has a great biking community. According to Biking.com, the city has 120 miles of on- and off-street bicycle facilities AND access to indoor bike parking.
Even beginner cyclists in Portland can feel safe with their designated bike-only areas at traffic signals. Portland also boasts other innovative programs like free bike lights.
Seattle has invested time and money into their bikers. According to Bicycling.com, the city has a 10-year plan (costing $240 million) to encourage more biking and add 450 miles of bike paths.
5. San Francisco
San Francisco makes it easy to commute by bike — even if you travel outside of the city limits. Commuters can bring their bikes on board a commuter rail, and there is also a bike shuttle across the Bay Bridge during rush hour.
Just last year, our own Beth Buczynski counted down the ten worst cities for biking in the US.
According to Transportation for America, these are the 10 most dangerous metropolitan areas in the United States:
1. Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida
2. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida
3. Jacksonville, Florida
4. Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano, Florida
5. Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, California
6. Las Vegas/Paradise, Nevada
7. Memphis, Tennessee
8. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown, Texas
10. Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas
Bicycling.com agrees with this list, and picks Dallas (multilane highway heavy), Memphis (no bike lanes exist!) and Miami (ranks second in the nation in bike fatalities) as its top three.
Want another opinion? Check out Travel Channel’s top ten picks for best cities.
Tell us: How is YOUR city for biking? Do you like to bike for fun or commuting purposes? How do you think towns can improve their efficiency for bikers?