How Bikeable Is Your City? PeopleForBikes Releases Fourth Annual City Ratings
June 3, 2021
BOULDER, COLO. (June 3, 2021) — PeopleForBikes released its 2021 City Ratings, expanding internationally for the first time to include 30 European, 42 Canadian and 35 Australian cities. In its fourth annual iteration, the data-driven City Ratings analysis evaluated more than 750 cities and communities across the globe to spotlight the best cities and towns for bicycling, as well as provide city leaders with actionable insights to make biking better in their communities.
Topping this year’s ratings in the United States are Brooklyn, NY; Berkeley, CA and Provincetown, MA (each ranking first in the large, medium and small city categories, respectively). Top international performers include Canberra and Alice Springs in Australia; Utrecht and Groningen in the Netherlands and Gatineau, Longueuil and Montreal in Canada, all located in the province of Quebec.
What do all top performing cities have in common? Strong bicycle networks — the systems of interconnected bike lanes, paths, trails and safe streets that make bicycling an enjoyable and effective means of transportation.
“We focused on bicycle networks because research shows that the best cities for bicycling have safe, comfortable, connected bike networks that allow riders to access the places they need to go, like work, school or local businesses,” said Kyle Wagenschutz, vice president of local innovation at PeopleForBikes. “It really is as simple as, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Building better bike infrastructure is the key to increasing ridership, improving safety and working towards equitable mobility.”
After four years of data-driven analysis and evaluation of bicycling in American cities, PeopleForBikes can confidently identify the actions cities must take to improve bicycling locally. Those lessons are being compiled and shared via the organization’s Advocacy Academy, an online video series and resource library for city leaders, decision makers and advocates.
This year’s ratings draw from two key factors: the quality of the bicycle network in a region (Network Score) and community perceptions of bicycling (Community Score). The first is sourced from the PeopleForBikes Bicycle Network Analysis, the second from online surveys submitted by local residents and advocates about bicycling in their city.
Simplifying the City Ratings formula from years past allows PeopleForBikes to make comparisons globally and include more cities, both nationally and internationally. This year’s ratings grew to include 660 cities in the United States, including 150 newcomers. PeopleForBikes also expanded the program to measure bicycling in 11 countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.
“With our expanded ratings, bicycle advocates can now see results from cities with a long history of excellence in bicycling like Utrecht, and cities like Paris that are rapidly improving their bicycle network,” said Wagenschutz. “Incorporating international cities into City Ratings enables us to compare progress in U.S. cities to bicycling around the world.”
City Ratings is a key component of the PlacesForBikes program, which provides measurement tools, guidance, peer networking and storytelling to help U.S. cities plan, build and promote great places to ride. PlacesForBikes is supported by a generous grant from Trek Bicycle Corporation, as well as contributions from other bike businesses, foundations and individuals.
“At Trek, we have an unwavering commitment to PeopleForBikes’ mission and, as a founding partner, fundamentally believe we need to work together to improve bike lane infrastructure across the country and get more people on bicycles,” said Bob Burns, director of advocacy at Trek Bicycle. “We know that safety is top of mind for cyclists and can be a barrier to riding. A recent national study of ours revealed that 77 percent of Americans feel that bike lane infrastructure in their city or town needs to improve and we — along with PeopleForBikes — want to help pave the way for more education, advocacy and ultimately improvements.”
For complete results and additional program details, please visit cityratings.peopleforbikes.org. Learn more by reading “Everything You Need to Know About 2021 City Ratings.” Media assets, including photos, are available here.
PeopleForBikes is making biking better for everyone by uniting millions of Americans, thousands of businesses and hundreds of communities to make every bike ride safer, more accessible and more fun. When people ride bikes, great things happen. Join us at PeopleForBikes.org.