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New York, Chicago top Bicycling’s list of most cycling-friendly US cities

Published September 3, 2014

EMMAUS, Pa. — Bicycling Magazine published its biennial ranking of the 50 most cycling-friendly cities in the United States in its October issue, which hit newsstands Sept. 2. And New York City was named the Best Bike City by the magazine’s editors.

New York moved up from seventh in 2012 to claim the top spot. No. 2 is Chicago followed by Minneapolis, Portland, Oregon; and Washington D.C.

“More and more, the leaders of the cities who appear on our list are understanding what Bicycling has long said: Bikes are accurate and sensitive indicators of an urban area’s vibrancy and livability,” said Bill Strickland, Bicycling’s editor-in-chief.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ambitious plan has resulted in more than 350 miles of new bike lanes, many of them barricaded from traffic by concrete and parking lanes, encouraging even casual cyclists to ride up Broadway and through a car-free Times Square.

More than 96,000 annual members subscribe to the nation’s biggest bike share, CitiBike. Between 2007 and 2011, the city doubled the number of bike commuters on its streets. According to the U.S. Census, the one percent of New York City commuters who ride to work comprises the largest population of bike commuters (a total of 36,496) in the country. Thousands more New York cyclists use both bikes and public transit on their daily commutes. By 2020, current Mayor Bill de Blasio vows to double all bicycling trips in the city.

Rounding out Bicycling’s Top 10 were:

6. Boulder, CO

7. San Francisco, CA

8. Seattle, WA

9. Ft. Collins, CO

10. Cambridge, MA

Bicycling’s editorial team mined U.S. Census data for such factors as overall percentage of bike commuters in each city and the rate by which that number is growing to determine the top 50. They catalogued the amount and quality of cycling infrastructure in each city—including miles of protected bike lanes and roadways marked with sharrows (shared lane markings)—and how recently it’s been implemented. They accounted for transportation budgets, civic and political commitment as well as historical performance and future projections. They also relied on data collected by national advocacy groups like the League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, and People for Bikes. They also hit the streets and talked to local advocates, officials, and everyday riders in each city on the final list, as well as those cities that didn’t make the cut.

For the full list, check the magazine’s  October issue.

Topics associated with this article: Advocacy/Non-profits, Media/Publishing

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