The League of American Bicyclists, a 133-year-old bicycle advocacy non-profit, named Washington the most bike-friendly state in the U.S. in its Bicycle Friendly Community awards report, released on Octover 15. This biannual evaluation ranks states and cities based on a myriad of factors including the miles of bike lanes, number of bike fatalities, and how communty laws affecty riders.
"Washington state has had really strong leadership that promotes bike friendly laws," said League spokesperson Carolyn Szczepanski. "But we're seeing the introduction of more bike-friendly facilities, like physical, protected bike lanes in places like Memphis, Tennesse. I won't say it's mainstream yet, but it's becoming the typical city planner is embracing."
States such as Washington, Colorado, and Oregon (which round up the top three) have always been perennial contenders for most bike-friendly states, but Szczepanski said seeing Delaware and Illinois crack the top 10 is an encouraging development. Between 2000 and 2011, the number of bike commuters in the U.S. has grown 47 percent, and the League certified 38 new Bike Friendly Communities creating 291 such designations in 48 states.
Bike Friendly America: Where does your state rank?
A map of states in the U.S. with their bike-friendly ranking according to the League of American Bicyclists. Photo:Gigillo83/Wikimedia