Washington tops off the list of Bicycle Friendly States published by the League of American Bicyclists for the second year in a row.
Wisconsin remained at No. 2 for the second year, but Maine climbed three places to be ranked No. 3 for 2009. Oregon and Minnesota round out the top 5.
The biggest success story from the list has to be Mississippi, which climbed 23 places to be ranked at No. 24. The biggest disappointment is Florida, which dropped 12 places to No. 32.
The bottom five states are New Mexico, 46; Alaska, 47; Oklahoma, 48; Montana, 49; and Alabama, 50.
The League of American Bicyclists issued the list to coincide with Bike-to-Work Week, which culminates on Friday in most major cities with Bike-to-Work Day.
League president Andy Clarke explained:
“Several states dramatically improved their ranking by updating their traffic codes, increasing the level of funding for bicycle improvements, implementing education programs aimed at bicyclists and motorists, getting organized and hosting their first statewide bicycling conferences and events.”
If you ever wonder why it's important to join your local bicycle club or bike advocacy group, the answer is in Washington state's top ranking.
The Cascade Bicycle Club and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington are both very active in lobbying for local laws and statewide legislation that supports alternative transportation, especially bicycling.
According to the League:
“A Bicycle Friendly State promotes cycling through legislation, policies, programs, and by creating new places to ride, educating motorists and cyclists, and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation.”
Here's how the 50 states rank in 2009. You can also see how the states ranked in 2009 and 2008 at League of American Bicyclists.
8. New Hampshire
10. New Jersey
20. North Carolina
26. South Carolina
28. South Dakota
35. Rhode Island
41. New York
42. West Virginia
45. North Dakota
46. New Mexico