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Washington state is leading the nation with its ranking as the most bicycle friendly state in 2013. This is Washington’s sixth consecutive year in the No. 1 position.
The Bicycle Friendly States ranking, presented by the League of American Bicyclists, numerically ranks each U.S. state according to the efforts the state have taken to make biking easier and safer. The rankings are released each year at the start of National Bike Month.
The states’ rankings are determined by their scores in each of five categories: “Legislation and Enforcement,” “Policies and Programs,” “Infrastructure and Funding,” “Education and Encouragement” and “Evaluation and Planning.”
Washington state received high scores in all categories, with its lowest score as a 3 out of 5 in both the “Infrastructure and Funding” and “Evaluation and Planning” categories. It’s highest score–5 out of 5–was a tie between “Legislation and Enforcement” and “Education and Encouragement.”
In the past year, Washington state has done well in eight of top ten signs of success suggested by the League of American Bicyclists. Washington’s most bike-friendly features are:
Complete streets policy
Dedicated state funding
Active state advocacy group
State bicycle plan
Share the road campaign
Bicycle education for police
Bicycle safety emphasis in strategic highway safety plan
Top 10 state for congestion mitigation and air quality spending
However, top-ranked Washington isn’t the only successfully bike-friendly state in the nation. States like Colorado and Delaware are making great strides too.
Colorado followed close behind Washington this year and received a No. 2 ranking, with its top score in the “Legislation and Enforcement” category. The state’s top signs of success are more than 1 percent of people commuting by bike, a complete streets policy, dedicated state funding, active state advocacy group, state bicycle plan, share the road campaign, bicycle education for police and congestion mitigation and air quality spending.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said he has sights set on the number one ranking.
“We’re proud that our bicycle-friendly policies have skyrocketed Colorado’s rank up 20 places in just five years, and we are committed to being No. 1 in the near future.”
Another quickly up-and-coming bike friendly state, Delaware, moved from No. 10 to No. five this year, with top scores in the “Legislation and Enforcement” and “Education and Encouragement” categories. Among Delaware’s top signs of success are a safe passing/vulnerable road user law, complete streets policy, dedicated state funding, active state advocacy group, state bicycle plan, share the road campaign and congestion mitigation and air quality spending.
For more information about the Bicycle Friendly State rankings, or to see how your state fared, check out the 2013 Rankings.