Top 10 Most Bike Friendly Cities in the U.S.
Cities all over the world — especially Europe — are known for their bike friendliness. But, cities across the United States are making strides in ensuring that their streets are accessible and safe for cyclists. BikingExpert.com has compiled a list of the top 10 most bike friendly cities in the United States for EfficientGov.
Cycling is an incredibly beneficial exercise. Your whole body gets a workout, including your heart, and as a bonus, your exercise doubles as a form of transportation. When you rely on a bicycle instead of a car to commute, you can save money on gas, auto insurance, car payments and parking fees. You can feel good about using your own two legs to get around, reducing air pollution while experiencing the health benefits of biking. The following U.S. cities make it easy for residents to reap the many benefits of bicycle transportation.
#1 Minneapolis, Minn.
You may not think of a congested metropolis as a great place for cycling, but Minneapolis has invested a lot of resources in the infrastructure required to support a large bicycle community. The city has a growing bike share program and network of bike lanes. In 2015, the municipal budget included $750,000 to build protected bikeways around the city, especially to make sure bike lanes stay clear of snow and ice in winter. Minneapolis was the first American city included in the Copenhagenize Indexof the most bike friendly cities in the world, and it’s still the only U.S. city to rank in the top 20.
#2 Portland, Ore.
As self-proclaimed “Bike City, USA,” Portland is well recognized for its efforts to support a bike friendly community. The city has programs to supply bike lockers, public bike rentals, free safety information and more. Portland even circulates free maps for tourists wishing to explore the city on a cycling tour. As of 2013, the city had more than 315 miles of pathways for cyclists, including specially designated “bicycle boulevards.” Portland also has the highest percentage of bike commuters to work at 7 percent. Its bike share program includes more than 1,000 smart bicycles.
#3 San Francisco, Calif.
San Francisco provides more than 200 miles of bike lines and low-traffic streets for cyclists, including a raised protective lane on one of the busiest thoroughfares. Many bike racks and garages are provided for commuters throughout the city, and locals have access to a bike sharing program as well. In 2016, San Francisco was named the second most bike-friendly city in the country by Bicycling magazine.
#4 New York City, N.Y.
New York City’s public parks are known for their policies to prohibit vehicle traffic during certain hours and on weekends, making them safer for cyclists. In addition, this highly populated metropolis provides 250 miles of dedicated bike paths, a bike sharing program and other cycling facilities. Approximately 200,000 New Yorkers cycle to work every day, and half a million people bike to work more than twice a month.
#5 Detroit, Mich.
The city of Detroit supports efforts to promote bike tours. Dedicated bike lanes can be found around the city’s best attractions and other heavily trafficked areas, which provide safety as well as recreation for cyclists and tourists. In addition, public and private projects are underway to connect Detroit to other locations in Michigan and Canada, making it easier for cyclists to travel longer distances by bike.