It's probably no surprise that California, with its wide open boardwalks, miles of bike lanes, and solid weather, is a top 10 state for bicycling.
What's surprising is that we didn't rank higher.
The League of American Bicyclists' 2014 Bicycle Friendly State rankings were released today to coincide with the first day of National Bike Month:
California actually moved up 10 spots since last year's list, the league says. In a statement group credited “notable progress in legislation, funding and policy that will make it easier to build bike lanes and mandate drivers give cyclists three-feet of space when they pass.”
The Golden State made number 9 on the list this year. Dave Snyder, executive director of the California Bicycle Coalition:
Better bikeways depend on two things: the right designs and enough funding to build them. California is getting better on both fronts. … [State] spending on biking and walking increased by 30 percent over 2012 levels.
California ranked high in “legislation and enforcement,” “policies and programs” and “infrastructure and funding,” according to the league.
California Department of Transportation Director Malcolm Dougherty:
Our jump to one of the top ten states reflects Caltrans' commitment toward more bike friendly communities. We plan to continue our success by working with our local partners to infuse about $360 million into biking and other active transportation projects over the next three years.
Sounds good. Just beware of our notorious hit-and-run drivers.