Minneapolis has surpassed Portland as the most bike-friendly city in the United States of America, according to Bicycling Magazine’s bi-annual list of the nation’s top 50 bike-friendly cities.
The Twin Cities effort to improve bike friendliness has resulted in nearly 200 kilometres of on and off street bicycle routes, indoor bike parking other cycling-friendly facilities.
“There is a momentum growing for bicycles in the Twin Cities, as we put the NTP funds to work and move from being a city with great recreational infrastructure to one with true integration of bicycles into it's on-street network,” said Jeremy Werst of Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. “We are coming together as a unified voice for the first time, and it's starting to make a huge difference in how our city looks.”
The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is a cycling advocacy group that encourages cycling of all ages. This year, the group will focus on ways to improve its existing Minneapolis Bike Master Plan. The group will further advocate better downtown biking by providing a full network of bike lanes for commuters and recreational cyclists in the downtown shopping area. They also plan to increase secure bike parking for every apartment and business.
A highly anticipated ‘open streets’, also known as Ciclovia could hit the city streets on Sundays during the spring and summer months, designed to help build awareness of city life without cars, motors and traffic on the streets. As stated on the website, Ciclovia events would be a chance for the public to experience the city's streets in a new way by allowing people to bike, skate, or stroll without the presence motor vehicle traffic.
“The Minneapolis Bike Love, The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Transit for Liveable Communities, and many others are coming together and finally talking to the people that are planning our infrastructure and how bicycling is going to fit into the future vision of the Twin Cities,” Werst said. “The cycling community is coming together to give them our feedback.”
Portland is still an example
Portland has maintained its rank as the most bike-friendly city according to the National Geographic Traveler. The city intends to further improve its cycling infrastructure through a recently approved Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030.
The long-range plan points to several key principals that aim to improve Portland’s ridership. It includes attracting new riders, strengthening bike policies, expand the city’s bike networks and programs that support cycling, increasing bike parking and increase funding for cycling facilities.