Top 10 Signs of Success
In each report card, we score every state on our Top 10 Signs of Success. Here, we explain in more detail what those metrics are and how they create a more holistic Bicycle Friendly State.
PEOPLE COMMUTING BY BIKE (MORE THAN 1%)
The proof of bicycle friendliness is in the biking. Through the American Community Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau studies Americans’ commuting habits each year, including how many people commute by bike. Eight states had a bicycle commuter mode share greater than 1% in 2012 (the most recent year available), including Oregon at 2.5%.
For more information on bicycle commuting, see the League’s Where We Ride Report.
SAFE PASSING & VULNERABLE ROAD USER LAWS
Safe Passing and Vulnerable Road User laws provide legal protections for cyclists. Safe passing laws provide protection by making it clear to drivers that passing a bicyclist safely means giving a certain amount of space to the bicyclist. In most instances, safe passing laws say that three feet between the bicyclist and motor vehicle is required. However, some states define other specific distances or define what a safe distance is through context – such as the space needed to avoid a bicyclist if he or she fell. Vulnerable Road User laws provide protection by providing increased penalties for certain driver actions that result in the injury or death of vulnerable road users, such as cyclists.
For more information on Safe Passing and Vulnerable Road User laws see the League’s Bike Law University series.
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY
Complete Streets aredesigned to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets policies ensure that all users are accommodated when streets are designed and built. According to the 2014 survey, twenty-two states have Complete Streets policies or laws. Twenty additional states have “routine accommodation” policies for bicycling and walking. (Six states with Complete Streets policies also have routine accommodation policies.) For states to effectively implement their Complete Streets policies, they must update their planning, project selection procedures, design guidance, professional training, and accountability processes.
For more information, visit the National Complete Streets Coalition's website.
committed STATE FUNDING
In addition to important federal funding sources for bicycling transportation, bicycle friendly states dedicate state revenue to bicycling and walking infrastructure and programs. According to the 2014 BFS survey, twenty-one states have such a dedicated state revenue source. For example, of California’s Active Transportation Program, $33 million comes from state sources. The state of Delaware authorized $10.25 million from their state Transportation Trust Fund and $3 million from the state’s General Fund for walking and bicycling projects. Several states, like Louisiana, dedicate revenue from Share the Road license plates or other “vanity” tags to bicycling safety.
State also make (non-dedicated) funding available from the following sources: state fuel tax, vehicle and truck taxes, registration fees, tolls, general fund, bond proceeds, bicycle and pedestrian streams, Public/Private Partnerships, gambling, lottery revenue, state bicycle user fee, highway safety fees, natural resource trust funds, and school zone speeding tickets.
Visit Advocacy Advance's resources for more on accessing state and federal funds for bicycling and walking.
ACTIVE STATE ADVOCACY GROUP
The robust implementation of bicycle friendly policies and practices requires broad public support. That is where advocacy comes in. Statewide advocacy organizations galvanize public support for bicycling to encourage departments of transportation to embrace bicycle friendly policies and work with state legislatures to pass bicycle friendly laws and to finance active transportation investments. In 2014, 46 of the 50 states had an active state bicycling advocacy organization. For more information on advocacy organizations, see the Alliance for Biking & Walking.
STATE BICYCLE PLAN (ADOPTED 2004 OR LATER)
Many states write a bicycle and walking master plan to guide their planning and investments in a statewide bicycle and walking network. Twenty-four states report having a combined bicycling and walking statewide master plan. Five states have stand alone biking and walking plans, and seven states have only a bicycling master plan. Fourteen states do have any statewide plan.
SHARE THE ROAD CAMPAIGN
Share the Road Campaigns are usually meant to remind drivers that other road users have equal rights, and duties, while on roadways. The essence of this type of campaign is to raise awareness that other road users, such as bicyclists, are valid road users who deserve respect and consideration while on roadways. Sharing the road means that we all share the responsibility to behave properly and look out for the safety of one another on roadways.
BICYCLE EDUCATION FOR POLICE
There are two types of bicycle education for police: 1) the type of education that allows police to safely and efficiently patrol their communities by bike, and 2) the type of education that allows police to enforce laws in ways that effectively promote a bicyclist safety. While both are important, we believe that the second type of education should be given to all law enforcement officers in training and reinforced as necessary based on their duties once in service. Law enforcement officers should understand safe cycling practices and the laws that control bicyclist-motorist interactions so that they can effectively enforce traffic laws, respond to crashes involving bicyclists, and collect information that is important to delivery justice to bicyclists who are injured or killed on our nation’s roadways.
For more information on Bicycle Education for Police, visit the International Police Mountain Bike Association.
BICYCLE SAFETY EMPHASIS IN STRATEGIC HIGHWAY SAFETY PLAN
While overall traffic fatalities are going down nationally, bicycle and walking fatalities are increasing. In order to spend important Highway Safety Improvement Program funds on bicycling, bike safety needs to be identified in a state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Nine states fail to identify either bicycle or pedestrian safety in their plans. Thirty-eight states say they identify both bicycling and pedestrian safety.
For more information, see our Advocacy Advance resources.
TOP 10 STATEs FOR CONGESTION MITIGATION AND AIR QUALITY SPENDING
Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds can be used on projects and systems that reduce single occupancy vehicle trips in regions that have not met federal air quality standards. Over 10% of federal funds spent on bicycling and walking since 1992 came from the CMAQ program. CMAQ was used on large bike parking projects in Chicago and paid for the initial stations for the Washington, DC, Capital Bike Share program, CaBi. States that do not have qualifying air quality areas can spend their CMAQ dollars more flexibly, but bicycling and walking projects are still available.
For more information, see our Advocacy Advance resources.