Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Who knew that June 3rd is World Bicycle Day?

World Bicycle Day was suggested by a Polish professor, Leszek Sibilski, and was recognized by the UN in 2018 as worth promoting and celebrating, designating June 3rd.

-- World Bicycle Day
-- "World Bicycle Day 2021 TCoheme, Significance, History And Quotes To Share With Friends," Republic World

I learned about it because some firm called Lawnstarter created a list of the best bicycle cities in the US, and because Salt Lake is listed as 8th (????), it was covered by a local tv station ("Salt Lake City named among best biking cities").

The study ranks 200 cities.  San Francisco is first, Baton Rouge is last. 

Portland, Oregon is #2, Fort Collins #3, Eugene #4, Minneapolis #5, Seattle #6, Washington, DC #7, Boise #9, and Boston  #10.

What's interesting about the list is the criteria that it's based on:

  • Access
  • Miles of Bike Lanes per Square Mile 
  • Number of Bike Trails
  • Availability of Bike-Sharing Program
  • Bike Rental Facilities per 100,000 Residents
  • Bike Shops per 100,000 Residents
  • Community
  • Share of Workers Who Bike to Work
  • Bike Clubs per 100,000 Residents
  • Bike Tours per 100,000 Residents
  • Safety
  • Bike Score
  • Natural Hazards Index Score
  • Share of Roads in Poor Condition
  • Bike-Related Fatalities per 100,000 Residents
  • State Biking Laws Ranking
  • Climate
  • Number of Very Cold Days
  • Number of Very Hot Days
  • Average Monthly Precipitation
  • Average Amount of Sunshine
  • Air Quality

The Lawnstarter article has the full table of data and some nice infographics.

It's just that to me, what makes a "best bicycle city" is a large number of people riding bicycles for transportation.  I suppose that's a bias.  

The criteria ends up being weighted towards factors that don't adequately measure that, and ends up ranking cities based more on recreational cycling criteria.  Although most of the top ten cities do have a fair amount of transportational cyclists.

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