Washington is still most bicycle friendly state — 5 years running

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Washington remains the most bicycle friendly state in the nation for the fifth year in a row, according to an appraisal by the League of American Bicyclists released Tuesday.

The state earned a score of 4 out of 5 in the categories of Legal, Policies and Infrastructure, and a perfect 5 in Education and Evaluation.

Other states in the top 10 are, in order, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Maryland, Maine and Delaware.

At the bottom of the list are Montana, Alabama, West Virginia, North Dakota and, the least bicycle friendly — Arkansas.


Washington state leads the nation in creating new bicycle infrastructure and using federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects, according to the League’s announcement.

This honor for Washington is due in no small part by the advocacy efforts of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and the Cascade Bicycle Club. Last year, for instance, the groups advocated for passage of a Vulnerable Users Law that holds motorists accountable when they strike a pedestrian or bicyclist. The law goes into effect June 1.

Becoming a member of these types of organizations in any city or state helps strengthen the voice of bicyclists when they seek better laws and safer roads.

The League said the bike groups in Washington have “some of the highest advocacy capacity” in the nation.

Quoting Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire:

“People in the Pacific Northwest embrace bicycling as part of a lifestyle that honors the environment, healthier living and transportation choices. This title once again confirms that we’re on the right track, supporting bicycling as a transportation option in our communities.”

Outgoing executive director Barbara Culp was quoted at the Bicycle Alliance of Washington:

“Thanks to the League of American Bicyclists for this award. This honor comes with much responsibility for the state, bicycle advocates and others to continue to strive for complete streets ordinances in every community and Safe Routes to every school. This is a call to anyone who rides a bike to hold your city, county and state officials accountable to an even more bike-friendly state.”

The League says that, to improve, Washington needs to expedite Complete Streets training and guidance for engineers and planners to “increase bicycle mode share,” which is currentlyu ninth in the nation. See the Washington state bicycle report card.

Delaware and Colorado

Entering the Top 10 for the first time are Colorado (4) and Delaware (10).

Colorado was credited with its share of bicycle commuting that double the national average and a high-ranking statewide advocacy group (Bicycle Colorado). It’s transportation department also is bicycle friendly.

Delaware’s departments of Transportation and Natural Resources and Environmental Control are creating a multi-modal transportation system in the state, says the League. Again, the League also credits the statewide bicycle advocacy group, Bike Delaware, for much of the progress.

Overall picture

Overall, League president Andy Clarke said that there are disturbing trends in funding and infrastructure. The states are lagging behind the cities and the expectations of local cyclists.

The League works throughout the year to help states identify and implement bicycle programs. This year, it updated the evaluation process to get a better picture of states’ accomplishments.

Mississippi might be an example of a state that, in spite of its low ranking, is seeking to improve its lot. The state advocacy group — Bike Walk Mississippi — is working at the community level to make streets and roads safer for bicycling.


Bicycle Friendly States (Follow this link for map of Bicycle Friendly States; click on state for details)

  1. Washington
  2. Minnesota
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Colorado
  5. Oregon
  6. Wisconsin
  7. New Jersey
  8. Maryland
  9. Maine
  10. Delaware
  11. Illinois
  12. California
  13. Utah
  14. Arizona
  15. Pennsylvania
  16. Iowa
  17. Virginia
  18. Vermont
  19. Michigan
  20. Connecticut
  21. Florida
  22. New Hampshire
  23. Georgia
  24. North Carolina
  25. Wyoming
  26. Tennessee
  27. Texas
  28. Missouri
  29. Nevada
  30. Indiana
  31. Louisiana
  32. South Carolina
  33. Alaska
  34. Kansas
  35. Oklahoma
  36. Idaho
  37. Ohio
  38. Mississippi
  39. Rhode Island
  40. South Dakota
  41. Hawaii
  42. New York
  43. Nebraska
  44. Kentucky
  45. New Mexico
  46. Montana
  47. Alabama
  48. West Virginia
  49. North Dakota
  50. Arkansas

Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2012/05/22/washington-is-still-most-bicycle-friendly-state-5-years-running/

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