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Old 05-18-13, 05:47 AM   #1
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America's most bikeable neighborhoods from the Atlantic magazine

top 25 neighborhoods for biking out of 7,000 neighborhoods.

Look at the list of cities for good examples of how you might want your city to treat bicycling around town.

Atlantic cities article- america's most bikeable neighborhoods

places often loudly criticized by critics at bike forums landed multiple neighborhoods in the top 25. Davis, California and Eugene, Oregon.
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Old 05-18-13, 06:37 AM   #2
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I will have to share this with my women's cycling group today!

I love riding in Eugene. Even when I'm out and about 3am, there's people using the bike trails. There's a few spots that are tricky to get to (West 11th, I'm looking at you) but other than dealing with the drunk college kids in the University area on weekend nights, I've never felt out of place on a bicycle.
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Old 05-18-13, 06:52 AM   #3
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Kind of odd that all the cities mentioned were on the coasts except Madison Wi. My city Lincoln Ne has 125 miles of hard surface MUPs throughout the city. Almost all that mileage is in very pretty suburban settings. Also off the paths there are great areas in the city that you can ride thru the great old areas of town with beautiful old turn of the century houses. I think the list is just an example of a writer just being lazy and listing the "usual" towns.
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Old 05-18-13, 06:56 AM   #4
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Kind of odd that all the cities mentioned were on the coasts except Madison Wi. My city Lincoln Ne has 125 miles of hard surface MUPs throughout the city. Almost all that mileage is in very pretty suburban settings. Also off the paths there are great areas in the city that you can ride thru the great old areas of town with beautiful old turn of the century houses. I think the list is just an example of a writer just being lazy and listing the "usual" towns.
I don't think it's odd at all. There is a coastal bias in a great many areas of American life. People with education tend to live in coastal areas (perhaps they haven't heard about rising seas due to global warming, and they play a disproportionate role in shaping the news media (as well as other aspects of our culture).
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Old 05-18-13, 06:58 AM   #5
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I think the list is just an example of a writer just being lazy and listing the "usual" towns.
the article lists rankings developed by the bikescore "by bikers for bikers" methodology, and isn't just a fluff piece of travel writing.

for detailed methodology of the ranking, some great graphic map representations of the rating methods, and where you can look for your communities' bike score, see

bike score methodology
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Old 05-18-13, 07:06 AM   #6
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the article lists rankings developed by the bikescore "by bikers for bikers" methodology, and isn't just a fluff piece of travel writing.

for detailed methodology of the ranking, some great graphic map representations of the rating methods, and where you can look for your communities' bike score, see

bike score methodology
One of the factors is how close one is to various amenities. I like density but I suspect Midwestern cities, which is the point Rydabent was making, are going to be hurt on that score because they are more spread out.
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Old 05-18-13, 09:14 AM   #7
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Burlington VT doesnt make the list, but Philly does ?

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Old 05-18-13, 10:17 AM   #8
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I think my home town should make the top of "The least bikeable cities" list. Potholes everywhere, large cracks, wide grates. I think it's because we have a high concentration of hateful obese morons living here though. Our "bike community" consists of about 40 people max. Half being the residentially challenged pedaling around on some questionable contraptions.

The city mentioned adding bike lanes earlier this year and most of the town expressed they feel that bikes belong on sidewalks and deserve to be ran over if found riding on the road.
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Old 05-18-13, 11:18 AM   #9
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Kind of odd that all the cities mentioned were on the coasts except Madison Wi.
Tucson, AZ and Boulder, CO are not on the coast, contrary to popular belief.
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Old 05-18-13, 11:25 AM   #10
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Note that these are neighborhood is cities, not the entire city.
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Old 05-18-13, 11:32 AM   #11
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the article lists rankings developed by the bikescore "by bikers for bikers" methodology, and isn't just a fluff piece of travel writing....bike score methodology
Good for bikers, I suppose, but not particularly relevant for cyclists.
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Old 05-18-13, 12:30 PM   #12
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Which neighborhoods are the worst? Would like to see video.
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Old 05-18-13, 12:56 PM   #13
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Good for bikers, I suppose, but not particularly relevant for cyclists.
I think they're still working on their "by poseurs for poseurs" methodology.

WRT cities not being on the list, I think that this is - unusual in the biking world - an example of an embarrassment of riches. The top 25 cities have scores ranging from 100 to 99.1. Thus, very bikeable downtown Indianapolis (with a rating of 95%) is excluded, probably by a significant number of other neighborhoods. As is my very bikeable neighborhood, with a rating of 83%.

But at some point, it's just quibbling - it doesn't really matter whether West University in Eugene (99.9) is better than University Ave. in Davis (99.8) is better than University Heights in Ab'que (99.7). These are *all* great places to bike.

In this context, it probably makes sense to look at the divisions that Bike Score actually uses and not focus on the precise number so much: Biker's Paradise (90-100); Very Bikeable (70-89); Bikeable (50-69), etc.

And of course even that leaves out individual preferences: I bought my house where I did because I like the neighborhood, and because my house is close to *two* MUPs that I can use to ride downtown to work or take to (some) suburbs, or go many other places.

But I do think that the focus on neighborhoods (rather than cities) is pretty important. I don't think that my city, overall, is very bikeable. But certain parts of it are extremely bikeable - including many of the most popular destinations - which means that by choosing where to live with a focus on bikeability, you can live a very bike-centric life even in an otherwise unbikefriendly location.
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Old 05-18-13, 03:17 PM   #14
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I am not surprised that cities/towns in the DC-Metro region didn't make the list. There is so much hostility here towards cyclists.
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Old 05-18-13, 03:58 PM   #15
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Hills and destinations? I reckon if your local has some slopes and there is nowhere to go (as measured by the Street Smart Walk Score of network distances to a diverse set of amenities) then you need to move!

Or you could join me on a long up and down ride through the country, enjoying the nice roads and great scenery.

Yet another of many academic studies putting numbers together in different ways. As W. Edwards Deming put it, "Numbers are numbers, numbers are not knowledge."
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Old 05-18-13, 06:03 PM   #16
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Burlington VT doesn't make the list, but Philly does ?

*c0o C0o*
Brattleboro, just like Burlington, should have been on the list.
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Old 05-18-13, 07:26 PM   #17
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I have ridden in seventeen of the top twenty-five neighborhoods in the list, eleven of those extensively. Many of the neighborhoods are smaller than and have less roadway than some private properties I have lived on. Gee, maybe the former Hillside Commune in Walton, OR should have been on the list.

Do these lists mean anything? Well, if they mean that a neighborhood is great to ride in, then it follows that more of the people who live in that neighborhood should be using their bikes to meet their transportation desires than is the norm in other neighborhoods in the same region/city. Since I know Eugene's current conditions intimately and it had four neighborhoods on the list, I'll just speak to it. The average ridership in Eugene is 7%. None of the neighborhoods listed in the top 25 list have ridership much over that. However, the Whiteaker neighborhood in Eugene has three times that rate, according to a survey conducted for the neighborhood association and the city traffic planner in charge of a current repaving project in the neighborhood, Reed Dunbar (in testimony nine days ago before a hearings officer in an appeal of some parking removal). Regionally, the city of Corvallis does better than these top-25 neighborhoods. Ouch!

So, we have another silly list that, as usual, means nothing. This isn't even a real tallest midget contest. It's just a press release of hot air. The bikeability score reminds me of the walkability scores. Who cares how many pharmacies are within two blocks? I want to be able to walk to a grocery store without being run over or deafened by traffic noise,be it two blocks or two miles. Do I really care if there are bike lanes or designated "bike boulevards"? No, I just want to be able to ride unmolested. No bike lane on a low-traffic low speed road is far preferable to a bike lane on a 55 mph roadway or some silly cycletrack that traps me in a door zone.

On a positive note, I must give the UO credit for placing some sharrow markings in the proper place on campus last year. On University Ave, a short stretch of which is on campus, there is perpendicular parking on both sides of the street and a deep, wide expansion joint in the concrete road that is exactly where a cyclist would normally ride. They put the sharrow markings to the left of the joint, which emphasizes the cyclists shouldn't allow themselves to be trapped between the joint (a real wheel-buster) and the parked cars (the drivers can't always see if it is clear to pull out until they have pulled out past the car parked next to them, especially since many of them don't bother to look). Sadly, most riders still ride to the right of the joint, but at least the officials tried. Gee, I wonder if they got extra points for their efforts?
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Old 05-18-13, 07:33 PM   #18
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What is enjoyable wine becomes vinegar in the glass half empty.

Not pjharmacies, grocery stores! NOT greenways and bike boulevards, but bad public transportation policy masquerading as fiscally sound libertarianism.


Quote:
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Many of the neighborhoods are smaller than and have less roadway than some private properties I have lived on



where's your neighborhood on the list? does it rate? Maybe B Carfrees is rated in the top 25 and he's really upset about it!!

Last edited by Bekologist; 05-18-13 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 05-18-13, 09:43 PM   #19
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for detailed methodology of the ranking, some great graphic map representations of the rating methods, and where you can look for your communities' bike score, see

bike score methodology
They throw in things like hills, which may be a negative, but is not something the city can control. Those other factors are intended to make the list impartial, but do so at the cost of making it impersonal. My methodology is putting rubber to the road. Not very impartial since it is weighted to the areas I ride in.

I live in North San Diego County (a few areas a B+) but over all a C-. I work and commute by bike in South Orange County (some areas C, but overall A-) I do not factor hills in because both are rotten in that regard. The exception is the City of Irvine where in is 90% of my wonderfully flat commute. My longer after work rides can become quite hilly.
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Old 05-18-13, 09:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
What is enjoyable wine becomes vinegar in the glass half empty.

Not pjharmacies, grocery stores! NOT greenways and bike boulevards, but bad public transportation policy masquerading as fiscally sound libertarianism.







where's your neighborhood on the list? does it rate? Maybe B Carfrees is rated in the top 25 and he's really upset about it!!
Or unlike you, B Carfree understands the list is crap.
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Old 05-18-13, 11:22 PM   #21
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Notice how New Orleans is smack in the middle of No-man's-land for good cycling neighborhoods. The cycling mindset for hundreds of miles in any direction is hateful. Sure there are good places to bike locally, but venture away from them just a few miles and find yourself in Dualie pick-em-up-land, Skoal-ville, and Ignorance-town.

Problem is: those folk from surrounding Hateville are mobile and find their way to NOLA. And any decent dayride on a bike takes us away from "civilization".
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Old 05-19-13, 04:35 AM   #22
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Or unlike you, B Carfree understands the list is crap.
Really?

A list of ranking attributes developed with input from a large group of cyclists,

that rates cities by bikeway miles, density, topography and connectivity is 'crap' because it rated several neighborhoods in one of the most bikeable cities in america in the top 25 and some anti-bike faciliies curmudgeon at BF wants to dis it. Neighborhoods smaller than some of the private properties he's lived on, dontchyaknow?
hmmmmm......

yep, the geographer in me has to agree with CBHI?
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Old 05-19-13, 04:44 AM   #23
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Notice how New Orleans is smack in the middle of No-man's-land for good cycling neighborhoods. The cycling mindset for hundreds of miles in any direction is hateful. Sure there are good places to bike locally, but venture away from them just a few miles and find yourself in Dualie pick-em-up-land, Skoal-ville, and Ignorance-town.

Problem is: those folk from surrounding Hateville are mobile and find their way to NOLA. And any decent dayride on a bike takes us away from "civilization".
It sort of feels that way here.(DC-Metro Region)
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Old 05-19-13, 11:58 AM   #24
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Hills and destinations? I reckon if your local has some slopes and there is nowhere to go (as measured by the Street Smart Walk Score of network distances to a diverse set of amenities) then you need to move!
Only if you are a roadie who has to turn everything into a competition. The list is not about your e-peen; for many people, having a list of bikeable neighborhoods is very useful when it comes to choosing where to live. Do you really see all rankings as competition in which you have to be number 1? Do you object to rankings of school districts because you feel you should move? Or rankings of careers because you feel the need to be a cardiologist or actuary?

This, at least is a ranking that provides some useful information - information which was not available elsewhere.

Quote:

Or you could join me on a long up and down ride through the country, enjoying the nice roads and great scenery.
And you think that living in a nice biking neighborhood is inconsistent with this in some way? I like long rides through the country as much as anyone. But I also appreciate not having to take a long ride through the country when I need a gallon of milk.
Quote:

Yet another of many academic studies putting numbers together in different ways. As W. Edwards Deming put it, "Numbers are numbers, numbers are not knowledge."
That's nonsense, of course. If I have ten widgets in my pocket, I have knowledge that I have ten widgets in my pocket, not 11 and not nine.

If you have a problem with the study's methodology, point it out, as others have. But it sounds like you just hate any attempt to study anything.
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Old 05-19-13, 12:26 PM   #25
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Hills and destinations? I reckon if your local has some slopes and there is nowhere to go (as measured by the Street Smart Walk Score of network distances to a diverse set of amenities) then you need to move!
Well, if you want to walk or cycle to conduct the business and carry out the routines of daily life, and you live where that's not practical. . . yes, you might want to move.

If you are satisfied with using an automobile for commuting, shopping, etc., and your bike for recreational rides on rural roads, you can do that in many more places.
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