Bicyclists of Washington, when someone asks you where you’re from, the answer is, “The #1 Bicycle-Friendly State in the whole country!”
Kicking off National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. Washington once again achieved the #1 ranking nationally, making this the seventh straight year. We’ve held the top spot every year the League has issued its evaluation.
This top ranking reflects the hard work of many, many people and organizations and we’re so very proud of our state. Now we go to work to make Washington even BETTER for bicycling.
Where Washington State Scores Especially Well
- 4 out of 5 points possible in legislation and enforcement
- 4 out of 5 points in policies and programs
- 5 in education and encouragement.
Building the full portfolio of what it takes to achieve these scores takes persistence across the board from advocates to agencies to elected officials who know how much bicycling contributes to stronger, healthier people, businesses, and communities.
That’s why Washington Bikes has led the charge for better bicycling and safer streets in the legislature for 27 years.
Where Washington Needs to Improve
- 2 out of 5 points for infrastructure and funding. It’s critical for the legislature to invest in balanced transportation investments and to address the safety needs of all of us using the road.
- 3 points in evaluation and planning. The state needs to collect better data about bicycle use, safety issues, and performance measures – a directive coming from the federal government as well.
We’re celebrating, but we don’t take our #1 spot for granted. For one thing, other states are chasing us. States that are investing more in bike infrastructure than Washington state know they’ll have a competitive advantage.
Our legislative advocacy and the work of partner groups around the state to enhance bicycling in our communities are both more critical than ever.
The Washington Bikes mission directly addresses the key indicators for the Bicycle Friendly States ranking. We work to:
- increase infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities;
- fund and provide education and encouragement programs that promote cycling;
- work for passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.
What we’re working on to increase and improve bicycling even faster:
- Creating information bike travelers need to plan fantastic vacations and day trips so they’ll ride — and spend — in Washington.
- Mapping the US Bicycle Route System in Washington to provide complete cross-state routes and highlight the small towns along the way.
- Identifying the businesses that want to attract biking customers: shops, restaurants, crafters of every fine beverage from cider to coffee to your-favorite-here, accommodations, markets, galleries, service providers, fun places, cultural attractions, and more.
- Helping businesses connect with bicyclists who want to support the businesses that support them because bikes mean business.
- Developing resources and toolkits individuals and groups can use to grow bicycling directly, whether it’s by starting up a bike train to your daughter’s school or showing up at your City Council when it’s time to testify.
- And more ideas we have waiting their turn in the bike rack!
With your support we’ll celebrate again this time next year, but with more miles of lanes and trails built, better connections, safer streets, more kids learning to ride, more businesses competing to attract biking customers, and more elected officials saying they prioritize investing in bicycling because it’s the right thing to do: for you, for your town, for the state.
- Washington state’s Bicycle-Friendly Communities, Businesses, and Universities
- Information about the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle-Friendly State program
- To receive a copy of the League’s scorecard on Washington State and the overall rankings, sign up below and we’ll email it to you.
Spread the word to help celebrate National Bike Month and our 7 years in a row as the #1 Bicycle-Friendly State!
Send this post to your biking friends. Encourage them to sign up for our e-news so they hear about milestones like this one along with events, local advocacy efforts, and and our work with agencies and in the legislature on behalf of better bicycling for everyone.