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10 Bike-Friendly Cities Around The World

10 Bike-Friendly Cities Around The World

Simply put, riding a bike is fun. As a bonus, biking saves gas dollars as well as the environment. But what about urban biking?

In many countries, more people ride bikes than drive cars. In Japan, for example, an estimated 3 million bikes are parked daily in special parking garages, several times greater than the number of commuter cars. In fact, with their designated cycling areas and established community events, many global cities are decidedly bike-friendly.

North America

* San Francisco, CA

Possibly one of the world’s bike-friendliest cities, San Francisco is not only the founding city of Critical Mass, the name for mass bike rides that take place in cities around the world, but it has also removed car parking to make room for bike parking and created a bike share program. As a result, bicycle collisions have declined while the number of bike commuters has nearly doubled over the past ten years.

* Portland, OR

Portland has earned the top ranking in several “best cities for cycling” lists. Around six percent of the population commutes by bike, taking advantage of the many bike lanes and “bicycle boulevards” (side streets with low speed limits). There are so many dedicated bike paths that cyclists can go for miles without ever seeing a car. In short, this is a great city to travel by bike!

* Boulder, CO

This beautiful city, with the backdrop of the dramatic Rocky Mountains, is also a cyclist’s paradise. The city dedicates 15 percent of its transportation budget to improving and promoting bicycle travel. The results are impressive: almost every major roadway has a designated cycling area, and there is a pilot program to get kids biking to school.

Europe

* Amsterdam, Netherlands

This city, where over half of all the trips in the city center are on bicycles, has made safe cycling a priority. It boasts  more than 250 miles of urban bicycle paths, which are often the quickest route between two attractions. As an added incentive to take your bike, it’s really expensive to park your car in downtown Amsterdam and numerous streets are either one way or completely off-limits to cars. Way to go!

* Berlin, Germany

In Berlin 400,ooo people already bike to work every day, while the city is busy pouring millions more euros into encouraging even more cyclists to get on the streets. Berliners love to bike because there is a mapping website that helps you plot bike-specific routes, and a great bike infrastructure that includes bike paths and places to lock up your bike.

* London, UK

London’s public bike sharing scheme debuted in July 2010 with 5,000 bicycles and 315 docking stations distributed across the City of London area and parts of eight London boroughs. Barclays Cycle Hire two-wheelers are popularly known as ‘Boris Bikes,’ after Boris Johnson, Mayor of London. Currently there are some 8,000 cycles and 570 docking stations in the scheme.

* Paris, France

Paris has also launched its own program for bike sharing, on a much bigger scale. Vélib’ is one of the world’s largest public bicycle rental programs, with twenty thousand very cute bikes distributed throughout the city at 1,450 different rental stations. Rates vary, but rides under 30 minutes are free.

* Copenhagen, Denmark

Biking is very popular in this city, where more than a third of the population commutes by bike. Bike lanes already exist on each side of many Copenhagen streets, but the next plan is to build a series of “bikeways” to connect the city with suburban areas. That’s why so many people love getting around on a bicycle!

Australia

* Perth

Located in Western Australia, the opposite side of the continent from Sydney, Perth is one of the best places in the country for cyclists. Australia’s fourth largest city has more than 700 kilometers of bike routes: main roads often have bike lanes, while bike paths run parallel to major inner-city highways and train lines.

Asia

* Kyoto, Japan

I wasn’t a cyclist when I visited this beautiful, historic city several years ago, but I was struck by the number of people on bikes I saw, both locals and tourists. Cycling is a popular way to avoid some pretty bad traffic jams, and the even more crowded public transit system.

 

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12:50PM PDT on Apr 17, 2013

Not only Amsterdam, but most of the Netherlands is very bike-friendly. I live in Maastricht as a student, in the very South of the country ; here also, lots of people, including probably all the students, travel by bike. My mother hates to drive around here with her car, because using your car can ve bery complicated here. With a bike, you rule the city - after you´ve gotten used to the unspoken rules and norms of biking, of course.
I also heard about Denmark being very bike-friendly indeed. A common feature of the Netherlands and Denmark is that they are very flat. That´s important to note!
Luxembourg, my country during a big part of my life, is unfortunately a country full of cars. Many people have two cars, or even more. There´s really cars everywhere...

7:15PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Houston has a long way to go, and is still primarily a car city, but I was proud to see bikes available for rent at each stop along our local lightrail line. Apparently, it's a new initiative set forth by our mayor to make us more green. Amazingly, a few of them were even missing, meaning someone was using them (or stole them). I would consider using them myself, you know, if I knew how to ride a bike.

5:11AM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

ty

1:50AM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

Awesome!

9:20PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

What is more of a work out for legs, walking or bicycling?

6:05PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

Spring is here and my back is back out of storage.

5:21PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

I do think bike riders should become friendly to vehicles and pedestrians!

3:11PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

Athens, GA! Please check out http://www.athenstwilight.com Very cool! The bike is the answer! Thank you!

1:28PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

Thanks ,,,Dublin has good cycle lanes....

1:22PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

Good! Thanks for sharing!

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