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And the best bike-smart towns and cities are...? (top ten list requested)

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And the best bike-smart towns and cities are...? (top ten list requested)

Old 07-01-08, 08:31 PM
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And the best bike-smart towns and cities are...? (top ten list requested)

The town I live in, Penfield, NY, has set a goal of being the most bike friendly town in NY State. There are committees formed and doing research and grant money is flowing, and soon they will be holding public meetings to gather input from the community. I would like to find out who the best examples are of bike integration and forward the info to a friend I have in local government.

So who are the very best examples out there?
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Old 07-01-08, 08:42 PM
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San Diego County is pretty good, except for several CalTrans-designed interchanges with fast free merges, diverges, and unions. I like the concept of "bicycle boulevards," well-interconnected quiet 25mph / 40kph traffic-calmed streets on which cyclists can easily and confidently integrate themselves with the main traffic stream. We need more of these.
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Old 07-02-08, 04:55 AM
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The League of American Bicyclists has a certification program, with Platinum, Gold, Silver (and I presume Bronze) designations. Madison, WI is designated at Gold. Portland, OR and Davis, CA are Platinum. Very few cities really aim at the program, so there isn't even a list of 10 platinum cities in the US. And in a lot of respects, some of the criteria are a bit nutty (rather like any certification program). The gold designation is *not* hard to get, and IMO is a bare minimum for sane traffic flow. Your city can get gold, even if there are dangerous bike lane designs or bad intersection designs. The program won't protect you from that.

The LAB is not very good at disability issues, and is flat out *bad* at advocating for traffic law that is understandable for young children. To compensate for this, look at Complete Streets. It isn't very good at the details for bikes, but it's very clear on details for children, the elderly and various sorts of disabilities. Together, you end up with a design that's easier to teach and works better for all ages and abilities.

Neither program advocates for "bicycle driver's manuals" or "pedestrian manuals" from the state DOT. This is bad, since those kinds of teaching aids are very useful for all kinds of people. Most of us are a bit weak on rules of the road, so a review every few years is a good idea.
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Old 07-02-08, 07:12 AM
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Corvallis, OR is pretty good. Of course there aren't jobs here unless you work at the hospital or teach at the university.
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Old 07-04-08, 07:32 AM
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I'll give a thumbs-up to Marquette, Michigan. They've been very forward-thinking in developing their waterfront, and also some old railroad right-of-ways in town. They've a nice set of paved bike paths, and those link up to an awesome set of mountain-bike trails. Whenever I go to Marquette, I see people everywhere--adults and kids and college students--all riding bikes. I don't know how Marquette compares to other cities, but I know I'vebeen impressed at what they've done in Marquette over the past eight years.
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Old 07-04-08, 08:32 AM
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I have to give a shout out to Berkeley, ca. They have the bike blvds (which have already been mentioned in this thread and others) as well as a lot of bike lanes and a pretty big bike culture, which helps. They also have free guarded bike lockups at the downtown berkeley BART station (bay area trains) and promote bicycling on their webpage and advertising signs for downtown. Independent of anything else, I think getting large numbers of people to ride, whether or not there are infrastructure changes, is the single most important thing (though infrastructure may promote that). Cars are much more aware and nicer here than I think most places (I've never been sworn at when I didn't deserve it, nor have I been pelted with beer cans).
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Old 07-04-08, 10:04 AM
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I have always found Seattle to be a great biking town, but I think it's more about the attitudes of the residents than any specific infrastructure.
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Old 07-04-08, 02:27 PM
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I'll nominate Fort Collins, CO.
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Old 07-04-08, 06:10 PM
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Carlisle, PA is not bad. No concerted effort to be bike friendly, but its an older town that does not really lend itself to highspeed car traffic. And drivers tend to be reasonably tolerant in sharing the road. Now, the surrounding suburban countryside is another matter altogether.

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Old 07-05-08, 12:38 AM
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I would nominate Tokyo. Pretty much all apartment buildings, schools, and public transportation hubs have racks for bicycles. Bicycles are allowed to use the roadways as well as the sidewalks, and there is generally a lot to do and see by bicycle in Tokyo. There are numerous shops and stores which sell all possible types of bicycles, and even department stores (and some grocery stores) will sell necessities like tubes and tires and such.

The most recent bike-friendly act of the city was to close down the street on the eastern half of the Imperial Palace to vehicles, and allow only bicycles to use it. The city also provides bicycles free of charge to those who don't have one, but would like to participate in the Palace ride.

Another plus to riding a bicycle in Tokyo (and Japan in general), is that any accident between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist (or pedestrian) is assumed to be the fault of the vehicle driver. Drivers here are aware of this, and generally keep a safe distance from cyclists whenever possible.
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Old 07-05-08, 04:14 AM
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Northern European Countries are supposed to be pretty good; Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, etc. More specifically Copenhagen, Amsterdam, etc.

You should forward him this video lecture and article on promoting cycling through good infrastructure. It is very comprehensive.

https://www.sfu.ca/city/city_pgm_video020.htm
https://www.sfu.ca/city/PDFs/PUCHERMa...leJune2008.pdf
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Old 07-05-08, 12:29 PM
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Oulu Finland.

An entire network of bike paths that provides complete alternate access to cyclists. Cars are kept out of the center area of town which is a pedestrian mall for people and cyclists.

The bike network offers often shorter and more direct paths to anywhere a person might need to go... car traffic is routed out and around areas as apparently it is less effort to drive. I saw several bike bridges going across a center river that only had a couple bridges for cars.

Drivers give cyclists ROW when there is a potential for Right Hooks. The paths link adjacent towns... and are well marked. Often the paths are below the street grade so there are no intersections where cyclists and drivers meet.

One could easily ride to the airport where indeed there is bike parking. The paths are plowed in winter. Over 28 percent of all trips are made by bike.

This link is typical of bike paths all over Oulu... note the well marked path with signs and stripes. https://youtube.com/watch?v=vgUkNxUE0wc&feature=related

This link shows an at grade bike path... to the left is a separate sidewalk. https://youtube.com/watch?v=tnEP8Yzennc

Old and young alike ride bikes for basic transportation. I recall seeing folks one might consider grandmothers cycling from grocery stores with their shopping.

Zoom into this map and note the dashed lines which are the extensive bike paths all over this town. https://kartta.ouka.fi/index_us.htm

A US cyclist arriving in this town will be overwhelmed with the extensive bike network in Oulo as it is beyond imagination.

Below is a tiny slice of the Oulu map showing bike paths.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
Another plus to riding a bicycle in Tokyo (and Japan in general), is that any accident between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist (or pedestrian) is assumed to be the fault of the vehicle driver. Drivers here are aware of this, and generally keep a safe distance from cyclists whenever possible.
That explains a lot....and I always thought they were just being extremely considerate
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Old 07-08-08, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Treespeed View Post
I have always found Seattle to be a great biking town, but I think it's more about the attitudes of the residents than any specific infrastructure.

Spot on. The biggest reason Copenhagen (listed by another) is so bike friendly is that most of the people ride a bike on a regular basis. It's all about attitude.

Also check out https://www.cykelby.dk/eng/index.asp. Lots of fun stuff there.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:33 AM
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Hey everybody, many thanks for the excellent material! I'll be sure to pass it on.
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Old 07-09-08, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Oulu Finland.
Another vote for Oulu - and I'm not even from Oulu, but from Helsinki! They both are much better than any town in north or south America, for that matter. Heck, ANY town in Finland is more bike-friendly than any town in the americas.
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Old 07-09-08, 12:54 PM
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Take good look at Minneapolis.
Bike Freeways
High volume of transportation cyclists
Cold climate like you have
Recipent of federal grant money for bicycle programs
Home State of Jim Oberstar and the pork that goes with him
City Bike plan currently in it's 3rd addition
Home State of Park Tool, QBP, HED, World Cycling Productions, Cycle America, and several other bicycle specific businesses
Bike2Benefits program run by the transit authority
More miles of bike trail than any other state in the nation.
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Old 07-09-08, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Scot_Gore View Post
Take good look at Minneapolis.
Bike Freeways
High volume of transportation cyclists
Cold climate like you have
Recipent of federal grant money for bicycle programs
Home State of Jim Oberstar and the pork that goes with him
City Bike plan currently in it's 3rd addition
Home State of Park Tool, QBP, HED, World Cycling Productions, Cycle America, and several other bicycle specific businesses
Bike2Benefits program run by the transit authority
More miles of bike trail than any other state in the nation.
You gotta be kidding me - or yourself. Here's the bicycle map of Minneapolis:
https://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/bicy...haredlanes.pdf

and that's just a draft! So those aren't even implemented yet. Even when they will be, the relative bike path coverage of Minneapolis is not even 5% of that of any Finnish city. Please everyone, click on that link and see the .pdf file for yourselves, and then compare with:
https://ptp.hel.fi/ulkoilukartta/

The red, green and brown lines are all bikepaths of one kind or the other. And when I say bikepaths, I mean separated from car traffic - so you can do your pedalling in cosy safety. The city is densely criss-crossed with bikepaths of all sorts, even in the suburbs. And Helsinki is pretty average or even slightly below the average compared to other Finnish cities. There's this nice route finder specifically dedicated to cyclists https://kevytliikenne.ytv.fi/

So did you seriously mean to compare Minneapolis to any Finnish city?
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Old 07-10-08, 07:58 AM
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Eliminate zoning laws against high density housing. When most people live and work dense clusters they will ride their bikes. Otherwise you are talking MUPs used by wealthy stay at home moms, dog walkers, and skateboarders, not commuters.
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Old 07-10-08, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
So did you seriously mean to compare Minneapolis to any Finnish city?
I was responding to the original poster and wasn't trying to compare Minneapolis anything but instead answer the original request. You are obviously a fully trained Bike Forums A/S Poster and treat each post as a challenge to your own and respond with confrontation and ignore the original intent of the post.

I have better things to do than get in internet pissing matches over such matters. Thank you for your reply.

Scot
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Old 07-10-08, 03:48 PM
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There are no US cities in the top 10 biking cities. There are probably none in the top 100. There may be a handful in the top 1000.
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Old 07-10-08, 05:05 PM
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ahem ... Boulder? (I'd include Denver metro in that)
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Old 09-01-09, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
You gotta be kidding me - or yourself. Here's the bicycle map of Minneapolis:
https://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/bicy...haredlanes.pdf

and that's just a draft! So those aren't even implemented yet. Even when they will be, the relative bike path coverage of Minneapolis is not even 5% of that of any Finnish city. Please everyone, click on that link and see the .pdf file for yourselves, and then compare with:
https://ptp.hel.fi/ulkoilukartta/

The red, green and brown lines are all bikepaths of one kind or the other. And when I say bikepaths, I mean separated from car traffic - so you can do your pedalling in cosy safety. The city is densely criss-crossed with bikepaths of all sorts, even in the suburbs. And Helsinki is pretty average or even slightly below the average compared to other Finnish cities. There's this nice route finder specifically dedicated to cyclists https://kevytliikenne.ytv.fi/

So did you seriously mean to compare Minneapolis to any Finnish city?
What an ass this guy is.
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Old 09-01-09, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Scot_Gore View Post
Take good look at Minneapolis.
Bike Freeways
High volume of transportation cyclists
Cold climate like you have
Recipent of federal grant money for bicycle programs
Home State of Jim Oberstar and the pork that goes with him
City Bike plan currently in it's 3rd addition
Home State of Park Tool, QBP, HED, World Cycling Productions, Cycle America, and several other bicycle specific businesses
Bike2Benefits program run by the transit authority
More miles of bike trail than any other state in the nation.
I grew up there and recently had a chance to ride there (this summer). Big thumbs up on Minneapolis.

I remember reading recently that Minneapolis was ranked #2 behind Portland in cycling friendly cities in the US (by whom or what standard I'm not sure).
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Old 09-01-09, 09:03 PM
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Not a list of top 10 cities, but I found this talk to be an excellent summary of things done in Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark to make them bicycle-friendly:

https://www.sfu.ca/city/city_pgm_video020.htm
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