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  1. #1
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    bicycle friendly state ranking.


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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    It surprises me to see Pennsylvania so high on the list. It does not surprise me that it is moving in the wrong direction.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Funny. My aunt who lives up in Seattle sent me FB link saying I should come cycle up there in her state since it was #1 ! Well, I live in state #2 right on the border to state #3 so why would I want to go up there?

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    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    I would have expected SC to be lower that 47th. Given the trend, it may well be next year. :/
    Last edited by the_tool_man; 05-08-14 at 05:48 AM.
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    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Funny. My aunt who lives up in Seattle sent me FB link saying I should come cycle up there in her state since it was #1 ! Well, I live in state #2 right on the border to state #3 so why would I want to go up there?
    Living and riding in Seattle, I'm actually surprised that WA has been ranked #1 . We witness hostility towards bicycles all the time. It's either that I'm extremely picky or other states are doing really bad.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

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    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    Living and riding in Seattle, I'm actually surprised that WA has been ranked #1 . We witness hostility towards bicycles all the time. It's either that I'm extremely picky or other states are doing really bad.
    I live in Ohio. Trust me when I say you must cycle in heaven, because this place is truly cyclist hell!

    If it's not the potholes trying to envelope you, it's the knuckleheads trying to run you off the road!

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Then once you get the best State, then you need to find out which counties in that state are better than the others .

    and then the bone head culture of the people driving on that road.

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    It would be interesting to see the results if it had motorist opinions towards cyclist incorporated within the ranking.

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    If GA is 26th, there's some seriously bad states to be riding in....seriously bad.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    It surprises me to see Pennsylvania so high on the list. It does not surprise me that it is moving in the wrong direction.
    Obviously rated only on the amount of rail trails we have and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. These 2 cities are 95% of any rating of Pennsylvania. All else in PA is just hick redneck country (nothing wrong with that, I'm a proud country redneck and in no way want to be associated with anything city.)
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

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    The rating are based on responses from state bike coordinators. Not rated is the general population's attitude toward cyclists. On that basis Rhode Island and nearby environs should be near the top as my experience is very positive regarding motorists who, with almost no exceptions, are friendly and courteous.

  12. #12
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Shocked to see Ca in the top 10.. we sure do have some wonderful rides but up north at least the infrastructure is rather lacking.
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


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  13. #13
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Obviously rated only on the amount of rail trails we have and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. These 2 cities are 95% of any rating of Pennsylvania. All else in PA is just hick redneck country (nothing wrong with that, I'm a proud country redneck and in no way want to be associated with anything city.)
    Yeah, could be. I drive 30 minutes to an hour to get to a rail trail that is reasonable for cycling (reasonable surface, and long enough to make it worth getting the bike off the rack).

    And being in the redneck zones makes road cycling a real adventure... although I will ride the roads when I lose a little weight and pick up some speed/confidence.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  14. #14
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    Yeah, could be. I drive 30 minutes to an hour to get to a rail trail that is reasonable for cycling (reasonable surface, and long enough to make it worth getting the bike off the rack).
    I'm lucky to live 6 miles from Emlenton, and thus the south end trail head for the Allegheny River Trail (well, you know that, we've discussed in a post or two before.) I haven't ridden the whole thing yet, but 28 or 34 miles, whichever it is to Franklin would be plenty enough for me when I get up to that kind of distance. I'm also only 15-20 minutes from the beginning of Sandy Creek Trail. I think I have 5 trails within half an hour drive from home, Moraine State Park, Oil Creek, Pymatuning, and then another half dozen if I drive a bit over an hour. Haven't yet ventured to Clarion with the bike, looks like there's a few trails to ride up there as well as II'd like to take a ride along the Clarion River in Cook's Forest where it's 25 mph limit and mostly just tourists creeping along for the scenery.

    And being in the redneck zones makes road cycling a real adventure... although I will ride the roads when I lose a little weight and pick up some speed/confidence.
    Since I'm out on the deep back dirt roads, it's all the real rednecks driving junker rusted out pickup trucks that I see, and every single one of them slow down when they see me and wave to me and give me a big toothless grin. Then I was climbing my "monster" hill one day where there isn't a single bit of man made anything anywhere when some ritzy looking older woman comes flying down the hill kicking dust up for miles in a big Cadillac Escalade and as she flies by me probably at about 50 mph kicking up rocks, I see a cell phone plastered against her ear. Even in the middle of nowhere deep in real redneck country, you can't get away from it.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  15. #15
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Since I'm out on the deep back dirt roads, it's all the real rednecks driving junker rusted out pickup trucks that I see, and every single one of them slow down when they see me and wave to me and give me a big toothless grin. Then I was climbing my "monster" hill one day where there isn't a single bit of man made anything anywhere when some ritzy looking older woman comes flying down the hill kicking dust up for miles in a big Cadillac Escalade and as she flies by me probably at about 50 mph kicking up rocks, I see a cell phone plastered against her ear. Even in the middle of nowhere deep in real redneck country, you can't get away from it.
    Yeah, now that I think about it, I shouldn't bad mouth red necks. Maybe there should be a different name for the narcissistic, narrow minded people that I occasionally encounter around Northeast Pennsylvania. For example, some that drive their $40,000 trucks to their $35,000 homes and think they own the roads (and parks)... and many don't even own pickups, but share the attitude. I suspect they tend to sit around with other narrow minded people and gripe about other people with an entitlement mentality (using much smaller words), never realizing that they are the ones that truly feel entitled to all the privileges that society has to offer... like their attitude of using public roads however they please.

    I have had many good encounters and conversations with folks in this area and others that could be considered rednecks that I wouldn't want to lump in with those that are the real problem.

    But, I am probably wandering beyond the scope of this thread.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  16. #16
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Arkansas is only 38. That's doing remarkably well all things considered. Years of bicycle advocacy are starting to have an effect. But since we dropped a bit, I wonder is that other states getting better?
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  17. #17
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    If I could buck the trend...I was surprised to see Kentucky rated 48th. Louisville makes an effort to be bike-friendly. The few times I've ridden outside the immediate area I've not perceived any great issues.

    Cycling just isn't a big priority here, but having a balanced state budget is. Maybe if we just borrowed money from everyone and stuck it to the taxpayers we'd have more bike lanes and stuff.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    How did NC rank so high?

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    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    It surprised me to see my State ( Washington ) at the top, but then it is a list of states in the US relative to each other. I will have to admit that as far as driver acceptance is concerned , that has improved markedly from when I was a kid. Its still not very good, but back then it was worse. More bicycles = better acceptance IMO

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    Poll really doesn't break down regions at all, and instead includes all rural areas mixed in with urban areas that could be hundreds of miles away. I'm way upstate NY ,having moved here after 30 years in Vermont. A consideration in the move was the great cycling to be had on this side of Lake Champlain. Roads are in much better condition, traffic is lower to non existent and the culture is accepting. Yet, Vermont is 20 places lower than NY and I can only assume that is because the whole NYC/Suburb thing effects the polling, even though its 300 miles away. I've no doubt its the same with a lot of states.

  21. #21
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Results must be based on polls of State officials, not on reality or on cyclists' perceptions. The state that kills the most cyclists every year is rated 28th, essentially "average?"

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    I haven't ridden a whole lot in PA, but I did a 1000k brevet around rural Eastern PA in 2008 and I gotta say it was one of the nicest rides I have ever done. I had one dog chase me, but otherwise the pavement was in excellent condition overall, the traffic was fairly minimal and always polite, and the scenery was gorgeous. There were no bike lanes where we were, but when the roads are good and the traffic is mellow, they aren't needed.

    I think it's sort of interesting to look at the breakdown of how different states scored. For example, MA, where I live, scored lower on infrastructure and funding than CA and WA. But it seems to me that economically, MA should have more funding for bicycle lanes than either of those because it has a higher population density and high per capita income. A larger percentage of its land area is urban, and it is in urban areas where bicycle infrastructure is the most useful, cost effective, beneficial to local businesses, etc.
    @Dudelsack - if you look at the different categories, you see that KY's position is not just because it doesn't spend money on bike lanes. The legislation/enforcement column refers to state laws and practices that determine what happens to people who break the rules or cause accidents. Whether or not someone who kills a cyclist because they were texting while driving drunk gets prosecuted is not necessarily a budget issue. Evaluation and planning is also not necessarily a budget issue - it's about priorities and whether the needs/safety of bicyclists are taken into account when planning projects. And KY apparently does spend at least a little bit on policies/programs, and education/outreach. Most of that stuff is not expensive; it's just a question of priorities.

  23. #23
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    My state Nebraska is rated low, probably lower than it should be. Basiclly there are two Nebraskas, Omaha and Lincoln, and the rest of the state. Both Omaha and Lincoln have many miles of hard surface trails. Then the rest of the state has thousands of miles of two lane highways, many with good shoulders, and light traffic. Probably the state is ranked low, because all anyone from out state knows about Nebr is Interstate 80 which you cant ride on.

  24. #24
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coluber42 View Post
    @Dudelsack - if you look at the different categories, you see that KY's position is not just because it doesn't spend money on bike lanes. The legislation/enforcement column refers to state laws and practices that determine what happens to people who break the rules or cause accidents. Whether or not someone who kills a cyclist because they were texting while driving drunk gets prosecuted is not necessarily a budget issue. Evaluation and planning is also not necessarily a budget issue - it's about priorities and whether the needs/safety of bicyclists are taken into account when planning projects. And KY apparently does spend at least a little bit on policies/programs, and education/outreach. Most of that stuff is not expensive; it's just a question of priorities.
    Kentucky is no Mallorca, I'll grant you that, but I'm not aware of any recent "getting away with murder" cases in this state. Are you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Kentucky is no Mallorca, I'll grant you that, but I'm not aware of any recent "getting away with murder" cases in this state. Are you?
    I don't know any specifics in Kentucky, but I have heard of it happening in Massachusetts, which is ranked a lot higher on the list. And it is a common enough complaint in many states. Personally, I am also concerned with what happens even when there are no cyclists involved. There was an expose in the newspaper here awhile back about how drunk drivers with literally dozens of incidents on their records (including things like smashing into houses in a drunken stupor) were getting off with a slap on the wrist and continuing to drive. The person may have hit a house instead of a cyclist, but letting them keep driving afterward is just as dangerous.
    Then there are also laws that regulate how fault is assigned in accidents, who is liable for which expenses, whether there are laws defining safe passing distances and whether those are enforced, what the responsibilities of cyclists are on the road, and what the responsibilities of drivers are, what the police's priorities are, how well laws that affect cycling safety are actually enforced, etc.
    All that stuff can vary tremendously from state to state, and most states probably have a mix of some laws that are good for cyclists and some that aren't, some that are well enforced and some that aren't, etc.

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