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Washington ranked #1 for Bike Riders

  From the - NWREporter July 2010

Washington “three-peats” as best state for bicycling

For the third consecutive year, Washington earned a first place ranking by the League of American Bicyclists as the most “Bicycle Friendly State.”

Wisconsin was the runner up, followed by Maine, Oregon and Minnesota.  The lowest scoring states and their rankings were New Mexico (46), Alaska (47), Oklahoma (48), Montana (49) and Alabama (50).

The Bicycle Friendly State Program is a recognition program that ranks a state’s bike-friendliness and recognizes states that actively support bicycling as a way of addressing climate change, traffic congestion, obesity and high fuel prices.

Washington outscored the other 49 states on a 75-item questionnaire that evaluated a state’s commitment to bicycling. The assessment covered six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement. Washington earned two “A” grades (for legislation and for education & encouragement), three “B” grades (for policies & programs, infrastructure, and evaluation & planning) and one “D” (for enforcement).

Eight communities in Washington state were singled out for being bicycle friendly based on scores for engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation. Those earning stars included:

Gold: Seattle 
Silver: Bellingham, Olympia
Bronze: Bainbridge, Port Townsend, Redmond, Spokane, Vancouver

“For Washington to have a 21st century transportation system, we need to give people transportation choices. Bicycling is an important part of this and it’s an honor to be recognized for the third year in a row for our commitment and efforts to make Washington bicycle friendly,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “Whether it’s building a new trail for recreational use, or creating a lane for bicyclists on the new 520 floating bridge, we are making major investments to improve our state’s bicycling infrastructure that will last for generations.”

“Being recognized as a leader for three years in a row reflects the strong partnerships that have been forged over the years, as well as the smart investments that have made at the local, regional and state level,” said Paula Hammond, Washington Transportation Secretary. “In Washington, bicycling plays an important role in our overall transportation system, giving people choices for commuting and recreation.”

States that apply for a Bicycle Friendly State award designation can receive national recognition and promotion of their efforts as well as feedback, technical assistance, training from national experts to improve their bicycle legislation, projects and programs.

The League of American Bicyclists (www.bikeleague.org) promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates.

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