The awards takes several different factors into consideration. First, it relies on three different surveys to determine how many people are riding bikes compared to the number of people who are driving cars when commuting. Secondly, the study compares local and federal data to determine how safe it is to ride in a city compared to how safe it is to ride in a car. A third factor is how easy it is for people to feel connected to others who are biking through community events. Finally, the survey looks at how well people living in the city accept those who ride bikes.
Organizers are hopeful that sharing results in different categories allows cities to know where they need to focus their attention most in order to make their cities better for bikers.
Placing first was Fort Collins, Colorado, with a score of 3.5 on a scale of five. San Diego’s score was just 0.3 points behind the winner. One of the reasons that the group rated Fort Collins highly was their installation of toucan crossings. At these crossings, a rider pushes a button similar to a pedestrian-walk button. Then, they have 19 seconds to get across a busy intersection. Unless someone pushes the button, the light does not turn red to stop those traveling on the major roadway. PeopleforBikes says that this is a very cost-efficient way to increase bike safety in cities.
The only other Californian city to finish in the top 10 is Santa Monica who finished in seventh place with an overall score of 3.2. The remaining cities are:
- 2. Wausau, Wisconsin, with a score of 3.5
- 3. Boulder, Colorado, with a score of 3.4
- 4. Portland, Oregon, with a score of 3.3
- 5. Tucson, Arizona, with a score of 3.3
- 6. Madison, Wisconsin, with a score of 3.2
- 8. Washington, D.C. with a score of 3.2
- 10. New Orleans, Louisiana, with a score of 3.1