The League of American Bicyclists has announced its first annual ranking of Bicycle Friendly States, scoring all 50 states on more than 70 factors. The states were scored on responses to a questionnaire evaluating their commitment to bicycling and covering six key areas: legislation; policies and programmes; infrastructure; education and encouragement; evaluation and planning; and enforcement. The highest and lowest scoring states overall were:
46. North Dakota
50. West Virginia
More details on how each state ranked can be found by going here and clicking on each state.
“While every state has room to improve in making bicycling a preferred mode of transportation and accessible form of recreation, Washington is making the greatest strides to make this a reality,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League. Clarke points to Washington’s model bike laws, signed and mapped statewide bike route network, dedicated funding from the state for bicycle related programs and projects, and an active statewide bicycle advisory committee as a few examples of why Washington ranked the highest. The bottom end of the ranking paints a different picture.
“West Virginia may offer some great trails and mountain biking resources, but otherwise fell short in every category,” Clarke added. “Their low bicycle usage rates and high cyclist crash and fatality rates are indicative of a state that does not adequately provide for the needs of cyclists.”
The annual state rankings are the first part of this new program. States are encouraged to further apply for award recognition of bronze, silver, gold or platinum status, similar to the League’s popular Bicycle Friendly Community program, now recognizing 85 communities across 32 states. Award recognition will be accompanied by technical assistance and further support as states work to become more bicycle-friendly.
The League represents the interests of 57 million American cyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information, visit www.bikeleague.org.