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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Illinois 8th, Missouri 28th among Bicycle Freindly States

The League of American Bicyclists just released its list of Bicycle Friendly States, and I was somewhat surprised to see Illinois ranked 8th.

I wasn't quite as surprised that Missouri ranked 28th.

Illinois earned its 8th-place ranking because "Illinois passed a Complete Streets law in 2007 and has a statewide bike map with suitability ratings. However, there are no performance measures or project lists in the state bike plan."

Missouri's was ranked 28th because "Missouri has a bike route map with suitability ratings, but no bike master plan and no cell-phone use restrictions."

I'm sure Illinois, in part, earned high marks because of Chicago and one of its suburbs, Schaumburg. Chicago placed in the Silver Level of Bicycle Friendly Communities, while Schaumburg placed in the Bronze Level. No Missouri communities were cited among the nation's Bicycle Friendly Communities.

As for neighboring states, Wisconsin did the best, placing second. Michigan came in 12th, Iowa was 21st, Indiana was 22nd, Kansas was 25th, Kentucky was 29th, Nebraska was 33rd, Tennessee was 36th, Arkansas was 39th and Oklahoma was 43rd.

Washington was named the nation's most Bicycle Friendly State, followed by Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon and Minnesota. West Virginia was named the nation's least Bicycle Friendly State. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and North Dakota also were in the bottom five.

LAB scored the states on responses to a questionnaire evaluating their commitment to bicycling and covering six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement.

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Roger 1 comments links to this post 1:15 AM

Thanks for calling our attention to that list. But it seems to me more like a ranking of states' bicycle policies than an actual index of how friendly they are. I don't care as much whether a state has official policies on rumble strips, as I do about whether it has rumble strips that make bicycling dangerous or unpleasant. I've found some gratuitously bad rumblestrip conditions in both Tennessee and Illinois, for example.
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