Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Beyond the Automobile: Bike-able Destination Cities

Cities around the world are doing whatever they can to improve the feel, the attractiveness and the economic competitiveness of their cities. And that means investing in sustainable forms of transportation. And that increasingly means investing in a high quality cycling network.

Janette Sadik-Kahn, Commissioner, NYC DOT

Last year the City of Vancouver expanded cycling routes through downtown. I'm not a biker myself, but have to admit, it has made walking through downtown a little more pleasant. And watching drivers inching through the newly separated lanes downtown certainly makes me more eager to take transit than drive.

So it got me thinking: If a good cycling network is a hallmark of a more sustainable city, where does my hometown stack up? Not even on the radar! Several destinations rank highly for bike-friendly infrastructure:

Bike Friendly Cities
Graphic via: Motorcycle Insurance
Using data from Bicycling Magazine based on criteria put forward by the League of American Bicyclists

Some information about these destinations c/o Matador Trips:
  • Amsterdam: 40% of city traffic moves on two wheels.
  • Berlin: 400,000 people bike instead of drive.
  • Copenhagen: 30% of the workforce bikes to work.
  • Portland, Oregon: 260 miles of bike paths and a 9% bike-commuter rate make this city the bike-capital of the USA.
Street Films has put together a great video series about Moving Beyond the Automobile, exploring solutions to help us get out of our cars and build more livable cities through smarter transportation. For ideas to make your destination bike-friendly check out their Bicycling video.

And don't think biking is important? Think again... With the EU aiming for car-free cities by 2050 bikes and transit are emerging as even more important people-movers.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pity you didn't include Montreal - listed as #8 in the Copenhagenize top biking cities in the World: http://copenhagenize.eu/index/08montreal.html

Cheers,

Paul.

Shawna McKinley said...

Thanks for commenting and adding another bikeable city. Just to clarify, the graphic is not mine, sourcing is provided above. I'm actually not a cyclist so am curious how they come up with the rankings, and if cyclists would agree with them? Also, if they feel there are good candidates missed? Please add!