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Redfin names top 20 bike-friendly cities in the US

Published May 14, 2015

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — National real estate brokerage firm Redfin unveiled its ranking of bikeable cities Thursday to coincide with Bike to Work week. According to the latest ranking by Walk Score, a Redfin company, topping the list as the most bikeable city is Minneapolis with a bike score of 81.3, followed by San Francisco with a score of 75.1 and Portland with a score of 72.0.

Redfin offers Bike Score information about homes for sale across the U.S. Renters can search apartments by commute time on Walk Score and find places to live within an easy bike ride to work.

Bike Score measures whether a location is good and safe for biking on a scale from 0 to 100 based on four equally weighted components: bike lanes, hills, destinations and road connectivity, and share of local workers' commutes traveled by bicycle.

"The future of biking in cities is to have a grid of protected bike lanes," said Matt Lerner, Walk Score co-founder. "The cities at the top of the Bike Score ranking are making progress in this direction."

The 2015 ranking expands to 154 cities and more than 10,000 neighborhoods. 

Redfin's list of 20 most bikeable cities with populations of 300,000 or more are:

Rank City Bike Score

  1. Minneapolis 81.3
  2. San Francisco 75.1
  3. Portland, Ore. 72.0
  4. Denver 71.3
  5. Boston 70.3
  6. Chicago 70.2
  7. Washington, D.C. 69.5
  8. Sacramento, Calif. 68.9
  9. Tucson, Ariz. 67.9
  10. Philadelphia 67.5
  11. Long Beach, Calif. 66.4
  12. New York 65.1
  13. Seattle 63.0
  14. Oakland, Calif. 60.9
  15. Aurora, Colo. 60.8
  16. New Orleans 60.1
  17. Miami 59.7
  18. Albuquerque, N.M. 59.6
  19. Mesa, Ariz. 58.5
  20. Santa Ana, Calif. 57.1

"Biking is central to the healthy Minneapolis lifestyle and to a lot of people's decisions about where to live in and around the city," said James Garry, a Redfin agent and avid biker in Minneapolis. "In the past year, several of my clients have chosen to buy smaller houses in South Minneapolis rather than larger, similarly priced ones in the suburbs, simply so they could bike to work during the week and around Lake Harriet on weekends."

A handful of smaller cities didn't make the list but Redfin still noted that they deserve recognition. All college towns, they boast some of the country's highest Bike Scores: Cambridge, Mass. (92.8), Davis, Calif. (89.3), Berkeley, Calif. (88.8), Boulder, Colo. (86.2), and Santa Cruz, Calif. (83.8), which was also a 2015 new addition to Bike Score.

Several cities saw big increases in their Bike Scores since the 2013 ranking thanks to new protected bike lanes and bike paths. On average, cities that ranked in the top 20 saw an increase of more than two Bike Score points. Chicago's Bike Score increased by almost nine full points, from 61.5 in 2013 to 70.2. In the past two years, the Chicago Department of Transportation has launched and grown the Divvy bike share system and expanded its on-street bike network to include more than 225 miles of bike lanes and routes.

"Many of my clients don't own cars," said Clayton Jirak, a Redfin agent and cycling proponent in Chicago. "They search for condo buildings with dedicated, secure bike rooms in proximity to bike lanes and major trails around Chicago. Our diverse transportation options have made Chicagoans less auto-centric and created a more bike-friendly city."

In San Francisco too, cyclists have seen more protected bike lanes added over the past couple years, reflected in a five-point Bike Score increase from 70.0 in 2013 to 75.1 this year.

More information: The full list.


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