For the third consecutive year, Washington ranked as the most bicycle-friendly state in the nation. The ratings of all 50 states, released today, come from the League of American Bicyclists to coincide with the end of Bike to Work Week. Wisconsin was No. 2. Finishing last was Alabama (figuratively pedaling a rusty Huffy with broken spokes and a flat tire).
Eight Washington areas earned mention as Bicycle Friendly Communities, but Tacoma wasn’t on the list. They were: Bainbridge Island, Bellingham, Olympia, Port Townsend, Redmond, Seattle, Spokane and Vancouver.
Here’s the news release from the state Department of Transportation:
OLYMPIA – For the third time, Washington has been rated by the League of American Bicyclists as the nation’s number one “Bicycle Friendly State.” Washington’s strong commitment to bicycling through its policies, programs and facilities has again earned the state national recognition for its bicycle-friendly communities.
“For Washington to have a 21st century transportation system, we need to give people transportation choices. Bicycling is an important part of this and it’s an honor to be recognized for the third year in a row for our commitment and efforts to make Washington bicycle friendly,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “Whether it’s building a new trail for recreational use, or creating a lane for bicyclists on the new 520 floating bridge, we are making major investments to improve our state’s bicycling infrastructure that will last for generations.”
“Being recognized as a leader for three years in a row reflects the strong partnerships that have been forged over the years, as well as the smart investments that have made at the local, regional and state level,” said Paula Hammond, Washington Transportation Secretary. “In Washington, bicycling plays an important role in our overall transportation system, giving people choices for commuting and recreation.”
The Bicycle Friendly State Program is a recognition program that ranks a state’s bike-friendliness and recognizes states that actively support bicycling as a way of addressing climate change, traffic congestion, obesity and high fuel prices. States are rated based on their support of bicycling through legislation, policies and programs, education, places to ride, and planning. Washington scored consistently high in all ranking evaluation categories.
States that apply for a Bicycle Friendly State award designation can receive national recognition and promotion of their efforts as well as feedback, technical assistance, training from national experts to improve their bicycle legislation, projects and programs.