For a bike commuter is not easy cycling in every place, of course, some cities are more developed than others to give to their cyclist better conditions and some people are not as aggressive as in Miami that looks like car drivers wanna rush everyone. It sounds crazy but it is true lol.
However, in general thoughts, the thing is that we can’t say that the US is a Friendly bike Country, but maybe it’s one in the way to become in the next 10 years. Last year People for Bikes published their list of bike friendliness cities, after two years making research looking. What makes our top cities great places for biking?
They support their investigation in the next questions:
- How many people ride bikes?
- How safe is it to ride a bike?
- How easy is it for people to get around on a bike?
- How fast is the network of bike trails and routes growing and expanding?
- How effective is the bike network to access all neighborhoods in the community?
“We focused this year’s efforts on engaging more cities to improve the accuracy of ratings,” says Jennifer Boldry (PeopleForBikes director of research). “This year, ratings were published for 510 cities and towns”.
In the US we can find Boulder (Colorado) as the most friendly city but it is still far away from what people consider the most friendly city bike in the world Copenhagen’s (Denmark).
If you want to see the list of PeopleForBike (PFB) click here.
Even with this last research from PeopleForBike (PFB) we can’t say that those cities in their top list are the top 5 friendly cities in the US the last decade. many cities that growth a lot about bike commute in the middle of this decade, slow down in the last 2 years and for that reason, some of those good cities get out of the Top of PeopleForBike.
To be fair with all cities in the US, we research many articles and studies of the last 10 years to consider our top 5.
1 – Boulder, Colorado
Colorado is well known for its friendly engage with all green, hike, bikes and so on, and of course, its college town is the perfect example of how to live within a green environment. The population of Boulder is around 97000 people and the students represent about 30% of that population, so we can expect a really young friendly city when we go to that town.
Also, there are many things to do by bike around Boulder, like mountain biking in the Flatirons, road cycling on the Boulder Creek Path and visit the campus of the University of Colorado, and so on. An important fact is that right now they have around 300 miles of bike lanes, and as the data of BikeForPeople show they are still working to grow this and to improve their bikes network.
2 – Portland, Oregon
This city for years has been considered one of the greatest bike cities in the US and even in the world, in terms of improves Portland had slow down a little bit the last few years in comparison with what they were doing, but they have one of the best public bike rental systems that helps the environment and improve the transportation by utilizing pre-existing bike corrals.
This is one of the biggest cities in the US with a population of around 640.000 people. In order to maintain good traffic and a green environment, the government made bike guides, maps for walks, repair classes and son on, to boost biking in the city.
Last fact, 385 miles of bikeways are on the ground in Portland, giving you an easy way to go visit The Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry or to go Relax in Washington Park.
3 – Seattle, Washington
A metropolis with around 750.000 people and more than 70.000 new jobs added the last decade in the downtown. For years this city was considered the Top of the bike-friendly cities in the US, but in the last few years its growth in bike transportation slow down. Even if Seattle does not have an official bike-share program, LimeBike offers about 7,000 bikes available for rent throughout the city with more than 1.000.000 rides in the first year.
According to some reports in 2019 Seattle become the city with the best public transit system in the U.S. which motivates many people to move with their bike to and from a stop. So we consider that you can move around Seattle and visit the Museum of Pop Culture, the Seattle Center and so on, in an easy way on a bike.
3 – Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is our fourth city in the list, another city in colorado that has focused on building pathways that move cyclists through town quickly and efficiently. It’s a city that has a really good idea of bike commute and also through electric scooters, you can look their holidays like “Winter bike to Work Day” where the city impulse people to go work by their bike on December 11 and Between 7:00 and 9:30 am, they have over 40 free breakfast stations to bike riders.
With a population of around 165000 people, this city has some groups like Bike Fort Collins that with many partners have been dedicated to impulse bike riding. Also, through the 280 miles of bike lanes, you can do many things in Fort Collins, like go to Old Town and explore the “Real Life Disneyland”.
5 – Eugene, Oregon
Like Colorado, Oregon has 2 of the cities in our top list of the decade, Eugene by the data of PeopleForBike is currently the safest bike city in the US. But, this is not a coincidence, this “Hippie” city has been bike-friendly especially with all those college kids around. While most cities have some sort of safe routes to school program, Eugene is taking the recruitment of kid cyclists very seriously, even encourages students to ride a bike to class and in March, or having three full-time safe routes school coordinators.
With a population of around 160.000 people and growing Eugene have been working in different methods to keep the bike culture, like the Eugene’s Bike Share System or the or the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System, The 12 mile of a path system that connects Eugene with Springfield and is heavily used by locals.
Friendly bike cities can help not just the environment but also the profit of the cities, as an example, we can see how since the begin of the last decade in Denmark society enjoys a net profit of 23 cents for every kilometer cycled, whereas for every kilometer driven by car we suffer a net loss of 16 cents. Our top score was in the US according to the PFB was 3.74 stars out of five, and some more than 75% of the cities received less than two stars. Jennifer Boldry said “I think it may be a difficult pill for some cities to swallow that the scores aren’t higher. But we decided to use global targets so that U.S. cities could get the broader perspective of where they stand,”
We can say that many cities in the US with a really good public transit system and bike paths, but we are still far away from the green transportation of countries like Denmark. So, to keep improving and growing in this area, big cities like San Francisco, Manhattan, Austin have to push developing more and more their public transit system and bike network. Hopefully, towns around big cities will copy their example and the entire country will become greener.
If you want to say which are the Top 5 friendly bike cities in the world click here.