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  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Announcing the 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world (2015)

    I've been following this all day on Twitter as Copenhaganize.com revealed the 20 cities on the 2015 Bike Index. Here is one of the earliest articles with all 20 cities finally revealed:

    The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet | WIRED

    Quote Originally Posted by wired.com
    As with the two previous indexes, this year offers surprises. Copenha*gen and Amsterdam continue to dominate, but new cities storm into the top 20 at the expense of others.

    Buenos Aires stomps the competition and nails the South American continent, at the expense of Rio de Janeiro, which seems to have lost interest. Europe continues to have a strong presence, though Germany is slacking—Berlin falls, Munich slips off the list entirely, and Hamburg is hanging on by a thread.


    Asia is relaxing—not in a good way—with Tokyo and Nagoya exiting the list. Montreal clings desperately to 20th and now has North American competition in the form of Minneapolis, which makes its debut on the index. We can see other American cities fighting their way north.
    Last edited by Roody; 06-02-15 at 11:22 AM.


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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    So these are cities with populations over 600,000. The emphasis is strictly on transportation riding, not recreational riding as on other bike-friendly lists.

    The USA finally got one city on the list--Minneapolis. The rest of the English speaking world did not do well, other than Dublin. Nothing for the UK or Australia. Canada got one city on the list--French speaking Montreal.


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  3. #3
    Genetics have failed me Scummer's Avatar
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    Berlin No. 12? Ok, that requires a serious inquiry into my co-workers pool of experience who's an avid biker and lives in Berlin.
    Gelato aficionado.

  4. #4
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Toronto used to have a shot at being on these lists back in the 1990s but we had a few setbacks thanks to our left and right political see-sawing and other factors over the past 20 years, so our infrastructure isn't as advanced as in Montreal or Minneapolis. Still, we do have a bicycle friendly built form with a dense, mixed use urban core, and a slightly milder climate than both of those cities, so our actual ridership is right up there.
    Last edited by cooker; 06-02-15 at 12:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scummer View Post
    Berlin No. 12? Ok, that requires a serious inquiry into my co-workers pool of experience who's an avid biker and lives in Berlin.
    Given the methodology used for selection, the wants and needs of "avid cyclists" which at least in the U.S. usually means sports/recreational enthusiasts, may not be a factor at all. In fact, the the disdain some avid cyclists show for cycling infrastructure (the main selection factor for this process) avid cyclists may be considered not "bicycle friendly" at all.

  6. #6
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Given the methodology used for selection, the wants and needs of "avid cyclists" which at least in the U.S. usually means sports/recreational enthusiasts, may not be a factor at all. In fact, the the disdain some avid cyclists show for cycling infrastructure (the main selection factor for this process) avid cyclists may be considered not "bicycle friendly" at all.
    I agree that not all cyclists want that infrastructure (nor, for that matter, do they all want more 'noob' cyclists getting in their way - certainly I sometimes get a bit irked when I find myself in a bike-jam, that I never used to encounter 15 years ago). However, I think they made it clear at The Copenhagenize Index 2015 - Bicycle-friendly Cities that the index is intended to recognize cities that promote or facilitate increased volumes of transportational cycling: "The Copenhagenize Index gives cities marks for their efforts towards reestablishing the bicycle as a feasible, accepted and practical form of transport. What I find annoying about the source website is that there is no nitty-gritty detail. What is the modal share in Montreal? How did they measure how effective advocacy groups were in Berlin vs Utrecht? It's all platitudes and no metrics.
    Last edited by cooker; 06-02-15 at 05:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Given the methodology used for selection, the wants and needs of "avid cyclists" which at least in the U.S. usually means sports/recreational enthusiasts, may not be a factor at all. In fact, the the disdain some avid cyclists show for cycling infrastructure (the main selection factor for this process) avid cyclists may be considered not "bicycle friendly" at all.
    +1. I've seen quite a few turn up their noses at the off-road paved bike path in favor of riding alongside auto traffic. Comments vary. But it boils down to not wanting to suffer a slight speed penalty or some will say the MUPS are more dangerous. I think that shallowly ignores the typical severity to be expected. But I understand resentment among car drivers if bicyclists won't ride in the bike lane. That doesn't encourage more support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    ...What I find annoying about the source website is that there is no nitty-gritty detail. What is the modal share in Montreal? How did they measure how effective advocacy groups were in Berlin vs Utrecht? It's all platitudes and no metrics.
    These groups pick the outcome, then come up with the justification. Cities that see substantial increases in ridership fall off the list because they are removing segregated facilities in favor of bike lanes, so the scoring has to penalize non-segregation but can't be overly obvious about such details. Hence the vagueness.

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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    These groups pick the outcome, then come up with the justification. Cities that see substantial increases in ridership fall off the list because they are removing segregated facilities in favor of bike lanes, so the scoring has to penalize non-segregation but can't be overly obvious about such details. Hence the vagueness.
    Are you aware of cities removing segregated facilities in response to increased ridership?

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    The website is more than annoying. It is poor. It headlines the top 20 cities, but I cannot find a link anywhere that provides the full 122 listing. I am keenly interested to see where some Australian cities stand, but as it stands, there is no access to this information.

    It's also notable that this is a commercial enterprise which is promoting its listing as a means to garner business. It's not as though it's a United Nations group with some semblence of independence. Check the map for its selection of clients and then correlate that with the cities that appear on the top 20 list.

    And of course, which city did top the list?
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    And of course, which city did top the list?
    Maybe that city deserved to top the list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Maybe that city deserved to top the list.
    Only because the company that did the listing is based there!

    And interestingly, one of the comments suggested ditching the failed bike share program in Copenhagen. THAT doesn't augur well for all those other bike share programs around the world if the bike cities of all bike cities can't sustain its own.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The website is more than annoying. It is poor. It headlines the top 20 cities, but I cannot find a link anywhere that provides the full 122 listing. I am keenly interested to see where some Australian cities stand, but as it stands, there is no access to this information.

    It's also notable that this is a commercial enterprise which is promoting its listing as a means to garner business. It's not as though it's a United Nations group with some semblence of independence. Check the map for its selection of clients and then correlate that with the cities that appear on the top 20 list.

    And of course, which city did top the list?
    In my experience, Copenhagenize has been very forthright and transparent when there might be any conflict of interest. They have done a great deal for promoting bicycling as transportation all over the world. People in America and Australia may not realize it, but there is an enormous buildup of bicycling as transportation in Europe, and this firm has been in the vanguard.


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  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Only because the company that did the listing is based there!

    And interestingly, one of the comments suggested ditching the failed bike share program in Copenhagen. THAT doesn't augur well for all those other bike share programs around the world if the bike cities of all bike cities can't sustain its own.
    This is a totally unfounded and unsupported charge that Copenhagen won because the company is based there. For one thing, Copenhagen did not win the last time, Amsterdam did. For another thing, the criteria are open so anybody can read for themselves why the cities were selected.

    I wonder if the Copenhagen bike share failed because the bicycle modal share is already 41 %, and 55 % of the citizens already ride their bikes every day. There might be some kind of ceiling effect. But certainly these numbers of riders speak for themselves and IMO justify Copenhagen being selected as # 1.

    The full list of cities hasn't been published yet, but evidently will be. Stay tuned.

    Now let's see what we can do to get some American and Australian cities on the list for 2017!
    Last edited by Roody; 06-03-15 at 07:05 AM.


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  15. #15
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The website is more than annoying. It is poor. It headlines the top 20 cities, but I cannot find a link anywhere that provides the full 122 listing. I am keenly interested to see where some Australian cities stand, but as it stands, there is no access to this information.
    I think I read that they're not going to publish the full list. I'd like to see the raw data even for the top 20 but I couldn't find it.

    In general however, I agree that some of those cities clearly stand out as bike Valhallas.

  16. #16
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    In general however, I agree that some of those cities clearly stand out as bike Valhallas.
    I agree with that idea, but it should be pointed out that some "avid cyclists" (think of the John Forester Vehicular Cycling/Sport Enthusiast persuasion) have for years decried cities like Amsterdam as unfriendly to cyclists specifically for the reasons that placed the listed cities in the article's top rank.

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    With the exceptions of Minneapolis and Montreal, these cities are located in countries that do not have large domestic oil production; and the national governments have a good reason to encourage fuel efficient transport, and thus reduce imports.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Only because the company that did the listing is based there!

    And interestingly, one of the comments suggested ditching the failed bike share program in Copenhagen. THAT doesn't augur well for all those other bike share programs around the world if the bike cities of all bike cities can't sustain its own.
    You wouldn't be just a tad bit jealous, would you?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
    With the exceptions of Minneapolis and Montreal, these cities are located in countries that do not have large domestic oil production; and the national governments have a good reason to encourage fuel efficient transport, and thus reduce imports.
    Minneapolis is a city in a country that is a net importer of petroleum, so it would behoove their national government to encourage fuel-efficient transport, too.
    Last edited by Ekdog; 06-03-15 at 09:32 PM.

  20. #20
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Now let's see what we can do to get some American and Australian cities on the list for 2017!
    For now, I'll be happy to just get our MUPS out from under the Arkansas River. The water is at the 22.7 ft (6.98 Meters) stage. Flood is 23 ft.



    At least the flooding has kept the boats away from the natural gas pipeline at the bottom of the river, that broke.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 06-03-15 at 05:39 PM.
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    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    You wouldn't be just a tad bit jealous, would you?
    Why would I be jealous? I sustained more than a decade of living without owning a motor vehicle, with an estimate of around 90% of my modal trips by bicycles. I survived very well without the need for extensive infrastucture. The one single advancement that is needed in Australia that exists in some parts of Europe is making drivers accountable for every accident they have that involves a cyclist. We would then obviate the perceived need for separated facilities.

    And how can I be jealous when the company involved in this listing hasn't or won't make the entire list publicly available? For all I know, Melbourne might be right outside the top 20. Hobart where I live now has a population far less than the 600,000 threshold.

    And I wouldn't laugh too loudly if I were you. Seville has slipped from fourth to 10th on this year's listings? That's a pretty big decline for a city that has been promoted on this forum as being a fantastic model of 15% modal share for bicycles (which still pales in comparison to the top 2 contenders).
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Why would I be jealous? I sustained more than a decade of living without owning a motor vehicle, with an estimate of around 90% of my modal trips by bicycles. I survived very well without the need for extensive infrastucture. The one single advancement that is needed in Australia that exists in some parts of Europe is making drivers accountable for every accident they have that involves a cyclist. We would then obviate the perceived need for separated facilities.

    And how can I be jealous when the company involved in this listing hasn't or won't make the entire list publicly available? For all I know, Melbourne might be right outside the top 20. Hobart where I live now has a population far less than the 600,000 threshold.

    And I wouldn't laugh too loudly if I were you. Seville has slipped from fourth to 10th on this year's listings? That's a pretty big decline for a city that has been promoted on this forum as being a fantastic model of 15% modal share for bicycles (which still pales in comparison to the top 2 contenders).
    You're right about Seville. We dropped in the listing (but at least we're still amongst the top cities--eat your heart out!) despite the fact that the party in power here at both the local and national levels is doing everything in its power to stop the cycling boom. At the behest of the petroleum, automobile and insurance lobbies, they're looking at a certain country in the Southern Hemisphere, known for its mandatory helmet laws, disdain for protected cycleways, and widespread antipathy to cyclists, for ideas.

    I certainly hope they don't get their way, as cycling Down Under is no picnic, from what I've read.

    Sydney cycling: Australia?s biggest city ?world?s worst place for riders?

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/tra...s/s4045873.htm
    Last edited by Ekdog; 06-04-15 at 05:58 AM.

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I agree with that idea, but it should be pointed out that some "avid cyclists" (think of the John Forester Vehicular Cycling/Sport Enthusiast persuasion) have for years decried cities like Amsterdam as unfriendly to cyclists specifically for the reasons that placed the listed cities in the article's top rank.
    You've probably already read it; if not, you might get a kick out of the Copenhagenize article about "bicycling's secret sect."

    Copenhagenize.com - Bicycle Culture by Design: Vehicular Cyclists - Cycling's Secret Sect


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  24. #24
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Why would I be jealous? I sustained more than a decade of living without owning a motor vehicle, with an estimate of around 90% of my modal trips by bicycles. I survived very well without the need for extensive infrastucture. The one single advancement that is needed in Australia that exists in some parts of Europe is making drivers accountable for every accident they have that involves a cyclist. We would then obviate the perceived need for separated facilities.

    And how can I be jealous when the company involved in this listing hasn't or won't make the entire list publicly available? For all I know, Melbourne might be right outside the top 20. Hobart where I live now has a population far less than the 600,000 threshold.

    And I wouldn't laugh too loudly if I were you. Seville has slipped from fourth to 10th on this year's listings? That's a pretty big decline for a city that has been promoted on this forum as being a fantastic model of 15% modal share for bicycles (which still pales in comparison to the top 2 contenders).
    God forbid you ever have major health problem, like I have been expiencing. Without protected facilities, you will be unable to ride at all. Enjoy mixing it up with the cars while you are still able, and don't worry about all the people who are too old, handicapped, young, blind, arthritic, timid, sensible, or whatever to ride with the cars.


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  25. #25
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    You've probably already read it; if not, you might get a kick out of the Copenhagenize article about "bicycling's secret sect."

    Copenhagenize.com - Bicycle Culture by Design: Vehicular Cyclists - Cycling's Secret Sect
    Great article! Thanks for posting it. I'd come to a lot of the same conclusions myself.

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