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League of American Bicyclists releases state safety rankings report

Published November 26, 2019
States making progress to make cycling safer, according to report.

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The League of American Bicyclists released its 2019 Bicycle Friendly State Ranking report on Tuesday, a year after more cyclists were killed than in any time since 1990.

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In summarizing the report, the League said despite several years of increasing fatalities, every state has taken at least some action to make cycling safer.

But more needs to be done, according to the report. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 857 cyclists died in crashes with motor vehicles in 2018.

"In the next two years, there is a good chance that there will be a new federal transportation bill," said Ken McLeod, League policy director. "The League will be advocating for that bill to include significant improvements for federal support for biking and walking, and we've had early success as seen in the Senate bill's 40% increase in funding for transportation alternatives. We are also advocating for federal transportation policy that would significantly change how states approach safety funding programs or policies."

In the last report in 2017, the League noted five "bicycle friendly actions" that each state should implement.

At that time, three states did not have any bicycle friendly actions, according to the report, but every state now has at least one. On average, each state has three of the five and eight — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington — have all five.

The report noted state legislatures are providing more funding for biking and pedestrian improvements. The legislatures are emphasizing that the safety of all users is a core part of all transportation departments. Also, eight statewide bike plans were adopted since 2017, and more data is available than ever on cyclists and pedestrians because of federal and state collaboration.

"The overall finding from our Bicycle Friendly State survey is that state Departments of Transportation are more likely than ever to be planning for the safety, comfort, and accessibility of bicycling," McLeod said. "This is important because state DOTs have the resources and scale to make widespread changes for better bicycling, and state DOTs are often responsible for the most dangerous roadways for people who bike."

The League's national report, details the role state DOTs play in cycling safety. The state report cards identify what the League believes every state should do to make bicycling safer. The national ranking grades all states, from No. 1 Washington to No. 50 Wyoming.

The League of American Bicyclists released its 2019 Bicycle Friendly State Ranking report.

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