Wednesday, June 3, 2009

18 baby!

Every year the League of American Bicyclists (I don't know who they are) ranks states on their bicycle friendliness. This year Utah was ranked 18th. They have a breakdown of how the ranking works, but I don't know if they count mountain bike trails as part of infrastructure, or if they only look at the major population centers, or anything more than what that spreadsheet says. Regardless, given the size of the state and the indifferent nature of our legislature, 18th isn't bad.

I would, of course, like to see more bike lanes, safer intersections, and above all, more aware drivers. However, I am confident enough with my bike handling skills that I feel comfortable in any traffic situation. My tummy and love of sleep are better at discouraging me from riding than lack of infrastructure or jerk drivers. But I am am devoid of any real out of Utah experience.

So here is my question to any of you Rollers (or visitors, if we have any of those) who have experience in states that aren't Utah (I'm looking at Greg, Kai, and Marc in particular); How do the rankings stack up? Is Utah really 23 places better than New York? Is Wisconsin really that much better than than the our great state?


  1. Honestly, I am shocked NY made it to 41. Buffalo and Rochester must have biased the results. Within NYC, I can't imagine that there is anything worse than the Bronx. The only bike lanes I have found are on large residential streets that are completely unnecessary. From my apartment, I have to cross three freeways to get to a decent bike path. When I say cross the freeway, there are literally mini crosswalks you have to use. I have heard enough horror stories to look both ways 10-300 times before crossing.

  2. The biggest difference I can think of between riding in the City and riding in Salt Lake City is that the streets in SLC are like 7 times wider. Also, the constant repaving that Utah winters demand is a blessing to the bicycling community. As a result, I'm getting pretty good at bunny-hopping potholes on my road bikes at full speed.

    It was interesting to note that in overall trends, both CA and UT lost 7 points in your poll this year.

  3. I'm in Skagway, AK right not. Great for bike commuting. But, town is a mile long and the biggest thing to look at for are tour buses. 20+ hours of daylight help out as well.
    Texas is a different story. Texas is famous for quashing commuter improvements like mass transit and bike lanes. I road ten miles to and from work each day and the only commuter friendly aspect was the shower we had at the shop. Bad roads, no bike lanes, dangerous and oblivious drivers made it a nightmare. But, like Christopher, I was confident enough in my own skills and foresight to not worry too much about it.