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2013 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings: MA #6

Monday, May 06, 2013

 

Massachusetts was the top ranked New England state in the 2013 Bicycle Friendly State rankings.

The League of American Bicyclists recently released its sixth annual "Bicycle Friendly State Rankings" to celebrate May as "National Bike Month" -- and Massachusetts came in tops in the region at #6.

The rankings looked at such categories as legislation and enforcement, policies and programs, infrastructure and funding, education and encouragement, and evaluation and planning.

In addition, states were judged on "top ten signs of success," including people commuting by bike, safe passing/vulnerable road user law, complete streets policy, dedicated state funding, active state advocacy group, state bicycle plan, share the road campaign, bicycle education for police, bicycle safety emphasis in strategic highway plan, and being a top ten state for congestion mitigation and quality spending.

Massachusetts Compared to New England

At #6, Massachusetts was the top-ranked New England state. 

Maine was second at #13, Connecticut was third at #18, Vermont was fourth at #23, and Rhode Island fifth at #25.

New Hampshire was the lowest ranked state in the region at #27. 

Worcester Bicycling Community Reacts

"I'm surprised that we're that high," said Aaron Prince with Fritz's Bicycle Shop in Worcester.  "There are clearly pockets of the state where things are relatively good for bicyclists, like Boston, but were kind of just getting with the program here.  They're staring to put in bike lanes, which helps."

"Just by the geographic nature of Worcester, we're at a relative disadvantage," said Prince. "It's difficult to connect the neighborhoods for bicyclists, and I think that some folks might be afraid to go out on the roads." 

"I think the real sign of success will come when we see more casual riders out there, as opposed to just the avid cyclists," added Prince. 

Prince noted the upcoming ride taking place on Sunday, May 12th, as a great way for the community to get behind bicycling.  "There's going to be a family ride along the Blackstone River Bikeway, and an urban ride through downtown Worcester."  For more information, go to www.sevenhillswheelmen.org

Eric Baker with Bicycle Alley called for increased awareness in the community for bicyclists' safety.

"We've got a few bike lanes now, which is good," said Baker. "Traffic's still congested however, so there's not a lot of room on the roads.  We see a lot of folks come through here who've been hit.  We could use more signs pointing out that bicyclists are sharing the roads -- a PSA (Public Service Announcement) would be great." 

For a complete list of the 2013 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings, go here

 

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