Well gee, I'm surprised TN is ranked so highly. Chattanooga has bike-friendly city status, so that probably helps our overall state ranking. ~~ Cliff H.
The League of American Bicyclists has announced our first annual ranking of Bicycle Friendly States, scoring all 50 states on more than 70 factors. The states were scored on responses to a questionnaire evaluating their commitment to bicycling and covering 6 key areas: legislation; policies and programs; infrastructure; education and encouragement; evaluation and planning; and enforcement. The highest and lowest scoring states overall were:
46. North Dakota
50. West Virginia
More details on how each state ranked can be found by going here and clicking on each state.
Andy Clarke, president of the League, said, “While every state has room to improve in making bicycling a preferred mode of transportation and accessible form of recreation, Washington is making the greatest strides to make this a reality.” Clarke points to Washington’s model bike laws, signed and mapped statewide bike route network, dedicated funding from the state for bicycle related programs and projects, and an active statewide bicycle advisory committee as a few examples of why Washington ranked the highest.
The bottom end of the ranking paints a different picture. “West Virginia may offer some great trails and mountain biking resources, but otherwise fell short in every category," said Clarke. "Their low bicycle usage rates and high cyclist crash and fatality rates are indicative of a state that does not adequately provide for the needs of cyclists.”
The annual state rankings are the first part of this new program. States are encouraged to further apply for award recognition of bronze, silver, gold or platinum status, similar to the League’s popular Bicycle Friendly Community program, now recognizing 85 communities across 32 states. Award recognition will be accompanied by technical assistance and further support as states work to become more bicycle-friendly.
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of 57 million American cyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org
2008 STATE RANKINGS
9 New Jersey
10 New Hampshire
13 North Carolina
15 South Carolina
27 Rhode Island
34 New York
41 South Dakota
45 New Mexico
46 North Dakota
50 West Virginia