The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) has just released its 2012 state rankings on bicycle friendliness. I’m sad, but not surprised, to say that my home state, Florida, is not in the top 10. And neither are the two other states where I lived for the longest time — North Carolina and Virginia — nor the only other two states where I have lived — New York and California. But I’m glad to know, at least, that other states have it better.
Washington is again the top state in the nation in these rankings, followed by Minnesota (2), Massachusetts (3), Colorado (4), Oregon (5), Wisconsin (6), New Jersey (7), Maryland (8), Maine (9), and Delaware (10).
“People in the Pacific Northwest embrace bicycling as part of a lifestyle that honors the environment, healthier living and transportation choices,” said Washington Governor Christine Gregoire. “This title once again confirms that we’re on the right track, supporting bicycling as a transportation option in our communities.”
“We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “But, as the scores clearly highlight, there’s much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and funding. Overall, we see states — and especially state Departments of Transportation and state legislatures — lagging behind cities and the expectations of local cyclists, despite the many well-documented benefits of a more active lifestyle.”
Of course, within many states not performing so well on the above ranking, there are pockets of bicycle-friendly communities. I helped get Charlottesville, VA a Bicycle Friendly Community award when I lived there, and a North Carolina city where I live, Carrboro, also has one. Additionally, one of only three Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Communities is Davis, California and three other California cities are at the prestigious Gold level. But, apparently, those states as a whole aren’t all that bicycle friendly yet.
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