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Washington named most bike friendly state for sixth year in a row

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on May 1, 2013 at 10:09 am with No Comments »
May 1, 2013 10:10 am

For the sixth year in a row Washington tops the list of the nation’s most bike friendly states, the League of American Bicyclists announced this morning, the first day of National Bike Month.

“I’m proud that Washington state has again claimed the mantle of the most bicycle-friendly state in America,” Governor Jay Inslee, an avid cyclist, said in statement released by the league. “Here in Washington, we recognize a 21st-century transportation system not only includes roads, rail, airports, transit, and ferries, but also bike lanes, sidewalks and trails. Bicycles create jobs, connect communities, and give Washingtonians healthier choices to get around.

In the same statement, Washington State Department of Transportation secretary Lynn Peterson said, “We’re pleased to again be number one; bicycles play an important role in managing our transportation system. As we continue to find efficiencies in our system, we look forward to partnering with organizations like the Bicycle Alliance of Washington to improve safety and grow bicycling statewide.”

The league in conjunction with the Bicycle Alliance of Washington reviewed state cycling accommodations for the rankings.

“We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Delaware, Colorado and Oregon,” 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 planning in every state.”

The league reports Washington’s No. 1 ranking is based on “infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encouragement programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride. While the state still has much more to do in making Washington’s roads safer for bicycling, this ranking recognizes Washington’s progress relative to the rest of the nation.”

In the statement, Barb Chamberlain, BAW’s executive director, said, “We’re proud of Washington’s continued recognition as one of the best places to bicycle in the entire country.  At the same time we will continue to work for improvement in how we identify and overcome barriers that keep people from riding, how we better collect and track data and then address issues around bicycle safety and collisions, and how we identify and prioritize opportunities for investment in non-motorized transportation.”

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