In honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest Bicycle Friendly States Ranking. In the fifth annual assessment, Pennsylvania achieved a #15 ranking nationally.
“We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “But, as the scores clearly highlight, there’s much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and funding. We look forward to working with Pennsylvania to improve conditions for people who bike for transportation and recreation.”
The 2012 Bicycle Friendly States Ranking marks the launch of an updated and improved evaluation process. Throughout 2011, the League held Bicycle Friendly America listening sessions across the country to understand the successes and shortcomings of the program. Based on public input, the Bicycle Friendly State survey was revised to give a clearer picture of a state’s accomplishments and next steps towards becoming more bike-friendly.
Pennsylvania’s #15 ranking was based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.
Pennsylvania has made strides in the past year that boosted our ranking from 25 in 2011 to 15 in 2012. The passage of the Four Foot Passing Law has been the most significant accomplishment over the past year. Pennsylvania continues to advance projects that make bicycling more accessible to more people. We have seen a significant investment in the Southeast to increase the trail mileage and complete many of the region’s trunk line trails. Statewide, advocacy is working. Our message is being heard by legislators, and we have been involved with discussions centered on a comprehensive transportation funding reform package.
Pennsylvania Walks and Bikes is pleased to see the progress made, however there is still much more work to be done. We continue to advocate for increased awareness of bicyclist needs. Passage of the Four Foot Law empowers cyclists to ride more confidently on the roads, but there is still a broad based need to educate the motoring public to our presence.
The BFS program is more than an annual assessment. Throughout the year, League staff will work actively with state officials and advocacy leaders to help [Your State] identify and implement the programs, policies and campaigns that will improve conditions for bicyclists.
About the Bicycle Friendly America Program
The Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are generously supported by program partners Bikes Belong and Trek Bicycle’s One World, Two Wheels Campaign. Learn more about the Bicycle Friendly America program at www.bikeleague.org/bfa.