The League of American Bicyclists named Washington state the most bicycle-friendly state for the 7th year in a row.
While other states have been rising and dropping on the list announced annually since 2008, Washington state has remained the first and only state to hold top honors every year.
In fact, Minnesota pulled itself up from 4th place in 2013, to finished ahead of last year’s No. 2, Colorado, and No. 3, Oregon. Those two actually lost points in the past year.
The League bases ranking on five different categories:
- Legislation and enforcement;
- Policies and programs;
- Infrastructure and funding;
- Education and encouragement;
- Evaluation and planning.
Washington state scored lowest (40% to 60%) in infrastructure & funding and evaluation and planning. It scored highest in education & encouragement.
Barb Chamberlain, executive director of Washington Bikes, said:
“The work that goes into growing bicycling statewide every year is important for everyday people bicycling to work, school or errands. It’s equally important for Washington’s reputation as an incredible place to experience the great outdoors through bike travel and tourism. What a great way to kick off Bike Month!”
Even Gov. Jay Inslee even offered a quote:
“Bicycling helps make healthy communities, healthy people and a rich quality of life. There’s always more to do, but being named the most bike friendly state shows we are moving on the right path.”
League director Andy Clarke congratulated Washington state, but also gave kudos to California, Minnesota and Utah for moving into the top 10.
Minnesota gained points in the past year for innovative mapping efforts, new bike-friendly legislation and increased funding for Safe Routes to School and bike routes. Meanwhile, Utah declared 2013 the “Year of the Bike” and passed legislation that increased penalties for motorists who kill or injure bicyclists. Bureaucrats and advocates in the state also worked on upgrading bicycling policies.
Here are all the states. I’d like to offer a tip of my helmet to North Dakota for pulling itself up from 50th to 35th in one year, and a wag of my finger to Alabama for dropping from 49th to 50th overall.
All the bike-friendly information is available at League of American Bicyclists.