Washington is once again the most bicycle friendly state in the country according to the League of American Bicyclists. It’s the fifth year in a row Washington has received the distinction.
“We’re encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington …,” league president Andy Clarke said in a prepared statement. “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.”
Last week, the organization awarded Olympia with a silver award and Tacoma with a bronze for their efforts to be bicycle friendly. Seattle was the only city in the state to win gold and Portland was the only city in the Northwest to claim platinum, the highest honor.
Washington scored 4’s and 5’s (5 is the highest score) on the league’s report card, receiving top scores for education, encouragement, evaluation and planning.
The report also makes recommendations for improvement, stating Washington should develop a comprehensive strategy for working with law enforcement on bicycling issues, including training for officers and targeted enforcement of bike safety laws. Other recommendations include increasing bicycle ridership and funding and implementing the state bicycle plan adopted in 2006.
“This honor comes with much responsibility for the state, bicycle advocates and others to continue to strive for complete streets ordinances in every community and safe routes to every school,” said Barbara Culp, executive director for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, in a prepared statement. “This is a call to anyone who rides a bike to hold your city, county and state officials accountable to an even more bike-friendly state.”
Minnesota ranked second, Massachusetts was third and Colorado and Oregon rounded out the top five. Arkansas ranked last.
Washington’s Report Card: Washington
The Complete Rankings: State ranking chart