California Ranked #8 in Bike-Friendliness Throughout U.S.

At #8 we sit.

The annual U.S. state ranking by the League of American Bicyclists shows that the Golden State has slightly improved its bike-friendly infrastructure and policy, climbing up one spot from last year’s rankings.

We would like to think that Long Beach had a bit of a role in gaining that jump given our own #3 ranking in the nation among our biggest cities.

Once again, Washington and Minnesota—yes, Minnesota—take the top spots at #1 and #2 respectively, Joining them in the top 5 are Delaware (#3), Massachusetts (#4) and Utah (#5).

From advocacy to legal protections, the rankings even include a feedback section where the League tells states what they can do to improve—and considering that not a single state in the entire union scored above 67, it seems that we all collectively have work to do.

California was provided the following suggestions:

  • Follow through on the Caltrans Improvement Project, which recommends that Caltrans relinquish control to local governments of state highways that operate as local streets and roads in urban areas.
  • Adopt a statewide bicycle plan that addresses each of the five “Es”, has clear implementation actions, and performance measures to gauge success.
  • Ensure that the plan includes high priority projects that enable multimodal trips, leverage current and future transit, and contribute to Caltrans’ mode share goal to triple biking by 2020.
  • Improve upon data collection regarding bicyclist trips, injuries and fatalities on California roadways and bicycle paths. States often choose to pursue strategic partnerships with technology companies and universities in order to study and improve bicycling-related data.
  • Adopt performance measures, such as a low percentage of exempted projects, to better track and support Complete Streets Policy compliance. Provide timely and dependable reporting on compliance.
    Complete the pilot research project by UC Berkeley to inventory bike facilities on the state highway system statewide.
  • California has a high number of bicyclist fatalities. Ensure that bicycle safety is a major
    emphasis in all transportation projects, programs and policies to address this issue.
  • Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist
    or pedestrian.

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