Bicycle Friendly Action Summary
In previous iterations of the Bicycle Friendly State program, the League of American Bicyclists reported 10 Signs of Success. For the 2017 ranking, we have narrowed these key indicators to 5 Bicycle Friendly Actions. The 5 Bicycle Friendly Actions were chosen because they are verifiable actions that each state can take to show its commitment to improving conditions for people who bike.
The 5 Bicycle Friendly Actions included on each state’s report card are:
Complete Streets Law/Policy
Safe Passing Law (3 feet +)
Statewide bike plan adopted in last 10 years
2% or more federal transportation funds spent on bike/ped
Bicycle Safety as an Emphasis Area in the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan
Our Guide to the Bicycle Friendly State Report Card contains detailed explanations of the data that we used to determine whether or not a state had taken a Bicycle Friendly Action.
There has been an increase in the number of states taking Bicycle Friendly Actions since our last ranking in 2015.
The general increase in the number of Bicycle Friendly Actions taken has not been evenly distributed. The greatest increase came in the form of more state including bicyclist safety as an Emphasis Area in their Strategic Highway Safety Plan. This may be a response to federal law, which was recently changed to require states to set a safety performance measure for non-motorized fatalities and serious injuries. Enacting that provision was a major federal advocacy goal of the League of American Bicyclists, beginning in 2012 and resulting in over 10,000 comments to the Federal Highway Administration in support of creating a non-motorized safety performance measure.
On the other hand, there was a small, one state, drop in the number of states that meet our Bike Plan Bicycle Friendly Action criteria. Our criteria looks at whether a state has adopted a bike plan within the last 10 years and so states must regularly update and adopt new bike plans in order to continue to be recognized for taking this Bicycle Friendly Action. Bicycle planning has changed dramatically in the last decade with the rise of technologies such as automated bicycle counters, design guidance such as the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, transit integration such as bike share systems, and other advances that make it necessary for statewide bike plans to be regularly updated in order to reflect current best practices.