New Places for Bikes ranks Madison in top 10

Like any of you who filled out a Places for Bikes Community Survey last year, today I got the email below announcing the 2019 rankings:


People for Bikes logo

Image of the US with Places for Bikes logo on it.

Dear David,

The 2019 PlaceForBikes City Ratings are live!

The PlacesForBikes City Ratings are designed to show cities where they stand — and provide insight into what type of investments should be made to build complete, connected bike networks.

This year, the PlacesForBikes team scored 510 U.S. cities based on five key areas:Ridership (how many people ride bikes?), Safety (how safe is it to ride bikes?),Network (how easy is it for people to get where they need to go?), Acceleration (how fast is the bike network expanding?) and Reach (how well does the network serve all neighborhoods in the community?).
The top 20 cities (overall ranking) are listed below:

To 20 places for bikes cities ranking

It is great news that Madison made it into the top ten ranked cities for bicycling. You can check to see how your community scored here, just sort the list by state after it opens in a new tab.

You have to take these rankings with a grain of salt, but I certainly think they are useful to help encourage communities to improve conditions for bicycling. The PlacesForBikes City Ratings offer a data-driven approach to identifying the best U.S. towns for bicycling and rewarding those that are improving the fastest. The rankings are based on five factors:

  1. Ridership
  2. Safety
  3. Network
  4. Reach
  5. Acceleration

It includes publicly available data from government sources and new data gathered from our Community Survey, City Snapshots, and the Bicycle Network Analysis tool.

At the most basic level, these more data-driven rankings give us a transparent apples-to-apples comparison. I also think the statistics-driven Places for Bikes rankings are an excellent compliment to the League of American Bicyclists scored cities in the Bicycle Friendly Communities system. If you are unhappy with how your community scored, People for Bikes has some tips here about how to improve your score. If you are not happy with how your community scored, check out the tips page here.

People for Bikes will be at our Wisconsin State Bike Summit in Wausau this October 4th-6th.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

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