California Ranks 20th as Bicycle Friendly State

The League of American Bicyclists ranks states and cities for bike friendliness


So how bicycle friendly is the state of California? According to the League of American Bicyclists, it ranks 20th, just behind Indiana. Washington finished first for the fourth straight year.

This bicycle advocacy group should know. It sent out a lengthy questionnaire to state bicycle coordinators and then ranked the replies in six areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement.

No surprise here: California received an F for infrastructure, but it shared that grade with 36 other states. Our state legislature gets a gold star, receiving an A for legislation. And who says our state legislature is dysfunctional?

Washington received A or B in all categories except infrastructure, which got a D. I figure the first state that turns over all public roads to bikes will receive an A.

If you’ve been following bicycle issues, you won’t be surprised to learn West Virginia ranked last in the League’s ranking. No complaints here.

Rounding out the top 5 are Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Jersey. In the top five I’ve only ridden in Maine, in and around South Portland. I don’t remember any issues, but note that Maine doesn’t have a large population and, as a result, the residents are pretty friendly.

I’ll follow up with city rankings next. Several cities in the Bay Area received favorable rankings.

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One Response to “California Ranks 20th as Bicycle Friendly State”

  1. Cardinal Fang Says:

    Wow. Maine. My cross-country trip ended in Maine. It was the worst state to ride in, by far, of all the northern states we rode in, though we rode north of Lake Erie so we missed the Rust Belt states, which may be worse. Maine had errible pavement, with no shoulders whatsoever, and in the coastal areas rather too much traffic. Granted the state doesn’t have much money and the harsh weather is hard on the roads, so I can’t blame them. But though it’s a beautiful state, I wouldn’t go back there to ride.

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