In the ongoing push to go green, the month of May has been named National Bike Month by the powers that be (their identity remains to be identified). And in honor of this month of fewer emissions and more cycling, Redfin Company looked across 10,000 neighborhoods and 154 cities in the U.S. to determine which cities were the most bike-friendly. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it.
Using a 1 to 100 scale, with 1 being the worst and 100 being the best for cyclists, Redfin ranked cities with populations of 300,000 or greater, and took into consideration factors like hills, bike lanes, and road connectivity. Leading the charge with the impressive score of 81.3 was Minneapolis, Minnesota, which far outpaced its nearest competitor San Francisco by six points. Also making the top 10 were Portland, Denver, Boston, Chicago, DC, Sacramento (the California one), Tuscon, and Philadelphia.
According to Redfin agent James Garry, it is no surprise that Minneapolis came out on top, as “biking is central to the healthy Minneapolis lifestyle and to a lot of people’s decisions about where to live in and around the city.”
A Minneapolis resident himself, Garry continued, “In the past year, several of my clients have chosen to buy smaller houses in South Minneapolis rather than larger, similarly priced ones in the suburbs, simply so they could bike to work during the week and around Lake Harriet on weekends.”
With more than 118 miles of on-street and 92 miles of off-street bikeways and trails, Minneapolis cyclists are certainly among the happiest in the nation.
The Redfin report also revealed good news for bikers across the country — with better bike paths and improved safety measures for those opting for two wheels over four, several cities greatly improved their Bike Scores from the latest figures in 2013. Chicago’s 9-point jump landed the city in the top 10 this year, and a number of other municipalities made similar leaps.
Of course, none of these larger cities could compare with some of the smaller (notably college) towns that failed to make the list with their sub-300,000 population count. But Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a score of 92.8, easily took the cake as the most bikeable city of all, followed by Davis and Berkeley in California, and Boulder, Colorado.
So if you’re thinking of staying on a bike, consider a move to any one of these cyclist-friendly cities.