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Washington State ranks #1 in bicycling for seventh year

Washington State is number 1
Washington State is number 1
Millie Magner

Washington State has once again been designated by the League of American Bicyclists as #1 state in the country. Following Washington is Minnesota, Wisconsin, Delaware and Oregon. Colorado fell to 6th this year while Claifornia moved up to #9. While other states jockey among the top 10, Washington has maintained the number 1 spot for seven years. Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee was quoted by USA Today saying that “Washington embraces biking as a ‘form of transportation that enhances our quality of like and honors our environment.’”

The League’s Bicycle Friendly America Program evaluates states in five areas:

  • Legislation & Enforcement
  • Policies & Programs
  • Infrastructure and Funding
  • Education & Encouragement
  • Evaluation and Planning

The voluntary evaluation program provides states, communities, businesses and universities to qualify as “friendly” and then assists participants to move up in ranking levels of bronze, silver, and gold. An example of an assessment is available the League’s website at http://bikeleague.org/bfa/quick-assessment/community. However, the program is much more because the League provides feedback and access to technical assistance.

Though California rated close to Washington in 4 of the areas, they lacked points in the Education and Encouragement category. Several states like Minnesota have also lagged behind in their infrastructure and Funding. Washington shouldn’t get too smug, however. The state lagged also in the Infrastructure and Funding category as well as Evaluation and Planning. Washington Bikes, the state’s advocacy organization has made great strides statewide in promoting bicycling. Now the legislature needs to do its part. The fact that Washington leads the nation with 66% out of 100 just shows how poorly the rest of the country has done toward creating safe environments for biking.