With wellness trends and green initiatives sweeping the nation, U.S. cities have evolved to accommodate residents and travelers whose preferred mode of transportation is biking.
What makes cities bikeable? Associate Principal Keith Weaver of https://bonusforcasino.co/online-gambling-casino-joker-poker-1360 EDSA, an internationally renowned landscape architecture and urban design firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, weighs in on the characteristics that make for the most bike-friendly cities. As part of EDSA’s team of designers, Weaver has racked up 32 years of experience working in municipalities and seeing how biking initiatives and priorities have progressed.
Weaver says, “Each city is committed to creating bike-friendly communities, focusing on cycling as a viable form of multi-modal transportation and creating well-planned, safe, and enjoyable facilities for all types of cyclists, such as commuters, couriers, recreationalists, adults, children and tourists. The range of well-connected on-street and trail amenities smartly link key origins and destinations.”
Although commuting to work by bike is a growing trend in the US, it’s still a tiny minority of workers who ride their bikes to work. The most recent report on commuting from the Alliance for Biking and Walking revealed that less than one percent of all Americans commute to work by bike. Some cities are trying to change that.
Here are the Top Ten Bikeable Cities in the country whose innovative initiatives have made biking an attractive option, according to Weaver:
Minneapolis, MN – With more than 250 miles of on-street and off-street bikeways, Minneapolis boasts a complex network of bike paths and individual trails, most of which are less than three miles long and are a great way to get around the city. May was Minneapolis Bike Month and hosted events such as “Twin Cities Bike to Work Day,” which encouraged residents to commute by bike with neighbors and friends. With the recent launch of bike sharing, NiceRide, and construction of 30 miles of on-street protected bike facilities, Minneapolis ranks as the country’s top bikeable city.
Portland, OR – Portland is the only large U.S. city to receive the League of American Bicyclists’ top rating, making it one of the most attractive cities for bikers. Portland’s bikeways are made up of bike paths, designated bike lanes and neighborhood greenways where bicycles and pedestrians are given priority over cars. To promote healthy living, “Portland Sundays” was organized in which miles of roads are shut down to automobile traffic to allow residents to bike, skate and walk. With almost 400 miles of bikeways woven through the city, it’s no wonder Portland has the highest number of bike commuters in the country.
Chicago, IL – Chicago is known for its investment in bicycling infrastructure and promotion of education, awareness and advocacy. The city is home to 200 miles of bike lanes, including scenic trails of both the skyline and greenery. One of the many trails is The Chicago Lakefront Trail that runs 18.5 miles featuring Lake Michigan on one side and the Chicago skyline on the other.
Denver, CO – Denver is taking on the initiative of working towards becoming a benchmark city for cycling. Denver recently announced they are adding nine new bike lanes to the city, which adds 16.8 new miles of lanes for the community to enjoy. Additionally, there will be eight new high-comfort, low-stress bike lanes. Other bike initiatives in the area include Friday group commuter rides, classes in confident commuting, basic bike maintenance and more.
San Francisco, CA – Over the past few years, the number of people who ride bikes has doubled in San Francisco, the cycling capital of California. The bike lanes specifically avoid steep hills and have trails throughout the city for the community to enjoy. Travelers flock to San Francisco to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and explore the many trails it has to offer. The city is quickly trying to improve safety for bicyclists by identifying the “high injury” zones and adding protected bike lanes.
Seattle, WA – Bike lanes are well integrated into the transportation system of Seattle and are constantly being advanced and maintained. At cycling signals, rails are being constructed to add support for bikers to lean on while waiting for traffic lights to change. JUMP has also recently made its way to Seattle as Uber’s pedal-assist electric bikes. Cyclists can ride these bikes through the Protect Bike Land, Multi-Use Trail, Neighborhood Greenway and Sharrow paths.
Boston, MA – Consistently ranked among the top bikeable cities in the U.S., Boston has endless bike lanes and trendy bike shops to accompany them. The Emerald Necklace Pathway leads bikers around some of Boston’s most historic landmarks and the Charlestown Waterfront bike path is a great option for a short, but scenic bike ride.
New York, NY – New York City has five boroughs full of exciting bike paths with a variety of views. Cyclists can rent a Citi Bike, ride it down the 100 plus miles of bike trails and drop it off at any of the 750 bike stations throughout the city, allowing for flexibility and freedom while biking through the city. Whether it’s a ride over the Brooklyn Bridge or down the East River path, the fully paved paths removed from congestion trails are one of a kind.
Washington, DC – Cycling has long been a part of the transportation mix in DC. District Department of Transportation has a progressive bicycle program with innovative initiatives including the first self-service bike parking program, protected parking for bikes and 1,000 outdoor bike racks across the city. There are 56 miles of marked bike lanes and 2,300 parking racks. For new riders, the National Mall is two miles long and has smooth paths as well as accessible bike parking. More experienced riders can zip past the nation’s most iconic sights on bike paths throughout the city.
Sacramento, CA – Sacramento has something to offer every type of cyclist whether that be a leisurely weekend rider, commuter or off-road mountain biker. There are several bicycle parking programs including installations of new bike racks, sharable drop zones and electronic bike lockers. Riders can plan their own route anywhere in the Sacramento region using the bike trip planner tool at sacregion511.org.