In its June issue, Bicycling magazine names the best American cities for cycling. Portland, Oregon, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Boulder snagged the top spots as America's overall best but especially notable on this year's list is Boston ranking in the "5 for the Future" category; Boston has been a recurring fixture on Bicycling's "Worst Cities for Cycling" list for the past three years.
This year's list pays homage to cities that have shown real innovation and drastic changes. The complete list of the new best cities for cycling is as follows:
#1 Most Improved City:
#2 Most Improved City:
#3 Most Improved City:
New York City
Most Improved Cities (Runners-Up):
Minneapolis, MN and San Jose, CA
Still the Greatest:
San Francisco, CA
5 For the Future:
Los Angeles, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
5 For the Future (Runners-Up):
Columbus, OH and Fargo-Moorhead, ND
Central to Boston's noteworthy move is mayor Thomas Menino's newfound love of cycling. After getting hooked on his new Trek Lime, Menino hired former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman to serve as Boston's bike coordinator; a position the city had eliminated in 2003. The pair is working on the first significant cycling-friendly development since then: 5-foot-wide bike lanes extending along Commonwealth Avenue.
"Bicycling's Best Cities list this year proves that great things can happen in short periods of time, even in the largest metropolitan areas," said Steve Madden, Editor-in-Chief of Bicycling. "Watching a city like Boston turn its city cycling plans into reality has been an incredibly gratifying process for us. It's evidence that a much needed, far reaching pro-cycling movement is in the works."
To compile the list, Bicycling editors started with a list of more than 250 cities and narrowed it down using the following factors: cycling-friendly statistics (numbers of bike lanes and routes, bike racks, city projects completed and planned) including changes in these statistics and a city's future plans since the last survey; bike culture (number of bike commuters, cycling clubs, cycling events, renowned bike shops); and a survey of experts at national bicycle groups such as the League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong, the Thunderhead Alliance and the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).
As for the worst American cities for cycling, Bicycling pointed to Dallas, TX; Memphis, Tennessee; and Miami, FL; all of which are devoid of bike lanes, and ruled by cars.
Internationally, Amsterdam snagged the top spot as the best foreign city to visit by bike. Additional winners are: Copenhagen, Denmark; Melbourne, Australia; Montreal, Canada; Bogota, Columbia; Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain; and Berlin, Germany.