New Ranking of Bicycle Friendly States
Washington keeps #1 spot.
June 4, 2012
In honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest Bicycle Friendly States ranking. For the fifth year in a row, Washington continues to lead the nation, with outstanding performance in all categories. Riding the wave of significant bicycle improvements, other states like Colorado and Delaware charged into the Top 10.
“We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. But ... there’s much work to be done in critical areas... Overall, we see states — and especially state Departments of Transportation and state legislatures — lagging behind cities and the expectations of local cyclists, despite the many well-documented benefits of a more active lifestyle.”
The 2012 rankings mark the launch of an updated and improved evaluation process. Throughout 2011, the League held Bicycle Friendly America listening sessions across the country to understand the successes and shortcomings of the program. Based on public input, the survey was revised to give a clearer picture of a state’s accomplishments and the next steps towards becoming more bike-friendly.
Even with the revised survey, Washington once again set a high bar in 2012. With support from the highest levels of government, the state leads the nation in creating new bicycle infrastructure and using federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects. In 2011, the state passed a safe passing / vulnerable user law, due in no small part to the efforts of the Cascade Bicycle Club and Bicycle Alliance of Washington, which have some of the highest advocacy capacity in the country.
“People in the Pacific Northwest embrace bicycling as part of a lifestyle that honors the environment, healthier living and transportation choices,” said Washington Governor Christine Gregoire. “This title once again confirms that we’re on the right track, supporting bicycling as a transportation option in our communities.”
Also on the right track, Colorado and Delaware rose to #4 and #10, respectively, in the 2012 rankings. Colorado exemplifies many of the qualities the League looks for in a bicycle friendly state, including a bicycle commuter mode share that’s more than double the national average, a bike-friendly department of transportation, and a top-notch statewide advocacy group.
But the BFS program is more than an annual assessment. Throughout the year, League staff work actively with state officials and advocacy leaders to help states identify and implement the programs, policies and campaigns that will improve conditions for bicyclists.
2012 State Ranking
45. New Mexico
For the complete ranking and to learn more about the BFS program go to www.bikeleague.org/states.
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