How Bike-Friendly Is Your Hometown?
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Living and working in Boulder, it’s easy to feel inadequate about your bike. Hell, soccer moms draft and pass you on their way to the farmer’s market, and I’m pretty sure there’s a store on Table Mesa aimed at the under-5 set called My First Fixed-Gear. All indications point to Boulder being a platinum-class biking city. But according to the League of American Bicyclists, it ranks only Gold. Bwaah?
The only cities to make Platinum on the LABC’s just-released rankings of bicycle-friendly towns are Portland, Ore., and Davis, Calif. The report cites Portland’s 270 miles of on-street bike lanes, 40 miles of unpaved trails, new city ordinances requiring bike parking in new buildings, and “bold leadership, community-wide involvement, and a lot of hard work.” That, and they must pee chromoly or something.
For a full list of gold, platinum, silver, and bronze rankings, click here.
If other cities want to join Portland and Davis in riding with their chins pointed high in the air, the League suggests ensuring better access to city parks and recreation areas for off-road riding, strengthening ties to the police and enforcement community, increasing investments in the city’s bikeway network, and starting new projects like new bike boxes or colored bike lanes. Technically, I live in Denver, and we’re a lowly bronze right now (probably because of all the homeless people not on bikes).
I can see some people in Boulder getting pretty steamed over this — nobody wants to start National Bike Month in second place. But don’t worry, Boulderites: You’re in good company with towns like San Fran, Tucson, Palo Alto, Madison, and Corvallis, OR. Most of those places are just as famous for their biking culture, right? Right guys? Hello?
— Ted Alvarez
League of American Bicyclists Names Portland, Ore. a “Platinum” Level Bicycle Friendly Community (LABC)