The League of American Bicyclists ranked Minnesota the second-most bicycle friendly state for 2015, the second year in a row that the League has recognized our North Star State as No. 2 and the eighth year in a row that we have made the top 10.
The Bicycle Friendly States ranking is based on a number key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide safe places to bike, education and encouragement programs that promote cycling, and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to ride.
“Retaining the No. 2 ranking is recognition of the good work we’re doing and something we can be really proud of,” Dorian Grilley, executive director of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, said in a MNDOT press release. “Our ranking recognizes that we have made significant improvement around the state, and that the competition around the country is really fierce.”
Washington remains the top ranked state for the eighth year in a row, followed by Minnesota, Delaware, Massachusetts and Utah, according to the DOT. Minnesota is fewer than four points behind.
Here at DMC, we’re working hard to plan Rochester as a bicycle-friendly community that encourages bike commuters and access to bicycles. In fact, it’s in the DMC Development Plan as a stated goal of upgrades to downtown Rochester’s transportation infrastructure.
(Maybe these improvements will even help propel Minnesota to the top spot on the League’s rankings.)
The state’s “top 10 signs of success” in the ranking process include a Complete Streets policy that incorporates bicycling, dedicated state funding, an active state advocacy group, a state bicycle plan, Share the Road campaign, and laws that protect the bicycler.
Several state agencies, including the departments of Health, Natural Resources, Transportation and Tourism invest in bicycling as an important component of Minnesota’s transportation system. Those agencies, and other groups, comprise PedalMn, a coalition that helps all ages enjoy bicycling.
View Minnesota report card from the League of American Bicyclists
For 2016 we’ve got our sights set on being number one.
— Dorian Grilley, executive director, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
Nearly half of Minnesotans rode a bicycle last year, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation 2014 Omnibus Transportation Survey.