How Does Your City Rank For Bicycling Infrastructure Such As Networked Streets, Buffered Bike Lanes And Bike Parking (Outdoor Bike Racks)

bike lanes

The organization PeopleForBikes just released its latest list of the Top Places for Bikes and included in the methodology is the availability of bicycle parking determined by the number of spaces and outdoor bike racks.

The top five cities named in the ratings were:

  1. Boulder, CO
  2. Fort Collins, CO
  3. Eugene, OR
  4. Manhattan, NY
  5. Arlington, VA

Ranking based on factors from bike lanes to safety

To compile the list, the organization used several factors to create a scoring system for ranking cities.

That criteria were broken down into five sections:

  • Ridership – the number of people who ride bikes in that city or town
  • Safety – if cyclists believe their town is safe for bike riders
  • Network – the number of bike lanes and bike trails that enable people to cycle to different parts of town
  • Acceleration – how fast is the infrastructure growing
  • Reach – does the infrastructure reach all parts of the community

Tim Blumenthal, president of PeopleForBikes said, “Our City Ratings play an important role in furthering PeopleForBikes’ mission to make bike riding better for everyone across the US.”

“Providing annual ratings helps cities make quick, cost-effective progress toward building a network where people of all ages and bicycling abilities can ride safely and easily to destinations all around town,” he added.

Remaining top cities for cyclists

Other cities in the top 20 are:

  1. Lawrence, KS
  2. Brooklyn, NY
  3. Portland, OR
  4. Madison, WI
  5. Minneapolis, MN
  6. Bentonville, AR
  7. Santa Barbara, CA
  8. Washington, DC
  9. Colorado Springs, CO
  10. Fayetteville, AR
  11. Queens, NY
  12. Santa Monica, CA
  13. Denver, CO
  14. Springdale, AR
  15. Athens, OH

Some of the sources PeopleForBikes used to compile their ratings includes:

  • US Census American Community Survey
  • Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems – for data on bicycle fatalities
  • Sports Marketing Surveys on Bicycle Participation
  • Network Analysis (the following were conducted by PeopleForBikes)
  • City Snapshot
  • Community Survey

Bike parking availability and outdoor bike racks

outdoor bike racks

One of the criteria used to determine city rankings is the availability of bike parking. Bicyclists need an adequate number of outdoor bike racks to keep their bikes safe and secure.

In the community survey, one of the questions asked centered on “bike parking.”

The number of bike parking spaces at the end of 2016 were measured. Also included was the number of bike parking spaces planned to be added.

Those surveyed were asked if they could enter a number for the following issues:

  • Number of bike parking spaces publicly available for use (which would require outdoor bike racks for secure parking)
  • Number of bikes in your bike share fleet
  • Bike parks (areas with mountain bike trails, dirt jumps, pump track, dual slalom, mountain bike trails)
  • Pump tracks (smooth dirt berms and mounds)
  • Grade-separated crossings of multi-use paths such as overpasses and underpasses

Other factors used in the scoring include items such as protected and buffered bike lanes, marked bike boulevards, streets with traffic calming features and speed limits of 20 MPH or less, off-street paved trails, off-street natural surface trails, and bike share bikes, etc. Additional criteria centered on education and events such as bike-to-work days, open streets events, kid’s programs in schools, kids biking clubs or organizations, charity, and social rides, etc.

Where does your city rank for cyclists?

Not every city can obviously make it to the top five positions. However, the great benefit of the PlacesForBikes city ratings is that it outlines the criteria in detail that the organization uses. This is a perfect guide for cities and towns on how to make their areas more bicycle-friendly.

Hopefully, city planners in every town in the US will take notice. They can see that many towns, even small ones like Springdale, AR, (ranked in the top 20) are investing money in creating a better bicycling infrastructure.

More bicyclists mean less congestion, reduced pollution, and a healthier citizenry.

If your city or town needs to make their streets safer for cyclists, pull out PlacesForBikes study and show city officials what their neighbors are doing.

Cycling is more popular than ever today. People would rather bicycle than drive – if it is safe and easy to get around.

Your town doesn’t need to be No. 1.

But any improvement in infrastructure, such as protected bike lanes, outdoor bike racks for parking and a connected network of streets, is certainly a positive and popular upgrade for local residents.

Click here to see a complete list of city rankings by PlacesForBikes and how your city ranks for being cyclist-friendly.

About Robert Caston

Robert Caston
Robert Caston oversees Content Marketing for The Park Catalog. Robert earned a degree in journalism and worked as a reporter for several newspapers. He is a connoisseur of fresh air and loves photographing nature whether he’s hanging out in a national park or a park down the street. With a passion for the outdoors, he is a strong advocate of green spaces and getting people out of the house. His favorite parks are the spectacular Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming and the incredible Twin Rivers Park in Stuart, Fla.

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