Los Angeles is arguably the global capital of car culture, a gas-hog of a city with boulevards that span the length of some states.
California, overall, is car country, too. But the eco-friendly bicycle revolution is getting massive on the left coast. We have new bike lanes, CicLAvia rides that close our streets, and an aggressive cyclists'-rights community that has developed across the Golden State.
It's against this backdrop that the folks at the League of American Bicyclists just released its 2015 Bicycle Friendly State rankings.
California made number eight.
The rankings are based on surveys completed by state bicycle coordinators, the league says.
States score higher if they have bike-friendly street policies, campuses that participate in the Safe Routes to School program, three-feet buffer zones for riders (California recently enacted such a law), and funding for bicycle infrastructure.
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California moved up one place from last year's ninth. Washington state remained at the top of the list, followed by Minnesota, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Utah.
Says league president Andy Clarke:
We're encouraged to see measurable progress and improvement in many states ... We hope to see continued improvements as more statewide leaders recognize and invest in the many benefits bicycling has to offer.