Washington leads Bicycle Friendly States list again in 2013; North Dakota is the least friendly

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Congratulations to the state of Washington for once again ranking No. 1 on the list of Bicycle Friendly States compiled by the League of American Bicyclists.

Seattle to Portland bike ride is state's biggest

Seattle to Portland bike ride is state’s biggest

This marks the sixth year in the row that Washington has led the list compiled by the bicycle advocacy group.

The list is released every year on the first day of May, which is Bike Month. In fact, Washington has topped the list since its inception.

Best, worst states

The other top states on the list all changed places from last year. They are: No. 2, Colorado (up from No. 4 in 2012); No. 3, Oregon (up from No. 5); No. 4, Minnesota (down from No. 2); and No. 5, Delaware (up from No. 10).

The five worst states are: No. 50, North Dakota; No. 49, Alabama; No. 48 New Mexico; No. 47, Kentucky; and No. 46, South Dakota.

Arkansas, the lowest ranked state in 2012, rose to 37th for this year’s list.


Why does the League choose Washington state as the most bike friendly? Essentially, the state scores the highest in five categories on a report card.

Washington scored 5 out of 5 in Legislation and Enforcement, and 5 out of 5 in Education and Encouragement. The state scored 4 out of 5 on Policies and Programs, and 3 out of 5 in Infrastructure and Funding, and Evaluation and Funding.

Further the state achieved 9 out of the top 10 signs of success: vulnerable user road law; complete streets policy; dedicated state funding; active state advocacy group (Bicycle Alliance of Washington); state bicycle plan; share the road campaign; bicycle education for police; bicycle safety emphasis in strategic highway safety plan, and congestion mitigation and air quality spending.

Washington state only missed a perfect 10 for 10 by not achieving a 1% rate for statewide bicycle commuting (it hit 0.92% in 2012).

The 1% goal is achievable. States with more than 1% bike commuting are Oregon (2.25%), Alaska (1.32%), Idaho (1.21%), Colorado (1.14%), Montana (1.07%) and California (1.01%).

Also, the League would like to see the Legislature enact a 3-foot passing law.


Barb Chamberlain, executive director of Bicycle Alliance of Washington, wrote: 

“We’re proud of Washington’s continued recognition as one of the best places to bicycle in the entire country. At the same time we will continue to work for improvement in how we identify and overcome barriers that keep people from riding, how we better collect and track data and then address issues around bicycle safety and collisions, and how we identify and prioritize opportunities for investment in non-motorized transportation.”

And these heartening words from the state’s secretary of transportation, Lynn Peterson:

“We’ve made significant gains in improving the conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians in our state, but there much more that we can do through partnerships and low-cost enhancements. The League’s evaluation reinforces the need to include bicycle facilities as part of our transportation programs.”

50 states ranked

Here is the League of American Bicyclist’s Bicycle Friendly State list. Click on the state to find details.

1. Washington

2. Colorado

3. Oregon

4. Minnesota

5. Delaware

6. Massachusetts

7. New Jersey

8. Wisconsin

9. Illinois

10. Arizona

11. Maryland

12. Michigan

13. Maine

14. Utah

15. Pennsylvania

16. Virginia

17. Tennessee

18. Connecticut

19. California

20. Nevada

21. Iowa

22. Texas

23. Vermont

24. Georgia

25. Rhode Island

26. Idaho

27. New Hampshire

28. North Carolina

29. Louisiana

30. Missouri

31. Florida

32. Ohio

33. Wyoming

34. South Carolina

35. Hawaii

36. Mississippi

37. Arkansas

38. Oklahoma

39. Montana

40. Kansas

41. Nebraska

42. Indiana

43. New York

44. West Virginia

45. Alaska

46. South Dakota

47. Kentucky

48. New Mexico

49. Alabama

50. North Dakota

More about the 2013 Bicycle Friendly States at the League of American Bicyclists’s blog.




Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2013/05/01/washington-leads-bicycle-friendly-state-list-again-in-2013-north-dakota-is-the-least-friendly/

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