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.