Jun 28, 2023 - Sports

The best U.S. cities for biking

Illustration of a pattern of bicycles.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

PeopleForBikes released its seventh annual "Best Places to Bike" report on Tuesday, providing ratings for 1,484 U.S. cities based on the quality of their bike network.

How it works: Cities are rated 0-100 based on factors like protected bike lanes, safe crossings, speed limits and connections throughout the city, with a score of 50 and up representing "a great place to bike."

Best biking cities: Here are the top 10 among small (population under 50,000), medium (50,000-300,000) and large cities (over 300,000).

  • Small cities: Provincetown, Mass. (88); Crested Butte, Colo. (87); Blue Diamond, Nev. (85); Murdock, Neb. (84); Ashland, Wis. (80); Jackson, Wyo. (79); Aspen, Colo. (75); Shorewood, Wis. (74); Ashland, Ore. (70); Mifflinburg, Pa. (69).
  • Medium cities: Davis, Calif. (77); Ankeny, Iowa (74); Berkeley, Calif. (72); Boulder, Colo. (68); Corvallis, Ore. (63); Hoboken, N.J. (62); Plainfield, N.J. (61); Ames, Iowa (61); La Crosse, Wis. (59); Longmont, Colo. (59).
  • Large cities: Minneapolis (68); San Francisco (63); Seattle (62); Philadelphia (57); Portland, Ore. (56); New York (55); St. Paul (51); Washington, D.C. (45); Milwaukee (45); Detroit (42).

The backdrop: Bicycle infrastructure has improved nationwide as the pandemic-era cycling boom seems to have staying power.

  • The nine highest-rated large cities improved their score year-over-year, including three that crossed the threshold of 50.
  • Those improvements have come via concerted efforts to increase bike safety and accessibility, including Philly installing its first-ever curb-protected bike lanes, New York adding/improving lanes amid increasing ridership and St. Paul adding five miles of new lanes.
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