The League of American Bicyclists comes out with annual state rankings for bicycle-friendliness every year. This year, Florida was 12th in the country, which is rather remarkable when you consider how many bicyclists are killed and injured by cars in the state and how many people complain that they don't feel safe biking on roads around the state.
Also, right here in Tampa, we had a local DOT district office that failed to put bike lanes on recent resurfacing projects on Gandy and Busch. And we have a city mayor who just killed a city staff plan to stripe bike lanes on Euclid Avenue.
The good news is that we have an active Florida Bicycle Association, which I'm proud to say I am a member of, that pushes pro-bicycle policies throughout the state and that has a voice that is getting louder each year.
Florida's ranking has gone up and down the past few years, from 21st in 2008 to 32nd in 2009 and to 12th in 2010. Keep in mind this is the same League of American Bicyclists that gave the city of Tampa an "honorable mention" a few years ago even though the city has no bicycle plan or bicycle coordinator.
For the record, the 2010 top five are:
The 2010 lowest five are:
46. New Mexico
47. West Virginia
49. North Dakota
Silver winners were: Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin
Bronze: New Jersey, Delaware, Minnesota, Arizona
Honorable mention: Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland
Washington, Oregon, Minnesota and Wisconsin have been in the Top 5 each of the past three years.
The rankings "are based on a 95-item questionnaire that evaluates a state's commitment to bicycling and covers six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement," according to the League of American Bicyclists.
The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates.