Image: Virgin Vacations
According to a list by Virgin Vacations, who suggest they relied on a methodology developed by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), known as The Bicycle Friendly Communities Campaign, which uses five criteria (engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement, plus evaluation and planning) to identify cities that actively support bicycling.
Three of the top five from the eleven cities are in the USA, which at first glance might seem a little odd, but they are the only three American cities to have earned Platinum status from the LAB as US Bicycle Friendly Communities.Top Eleven Bike Cities
Virgin Vacations lists the following eleven cities as being the most accessible and bike friendly, though they do concede there are many other gems out there too.
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
2. Portland, Oregon, USA
3. Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Boulder, Colorado, USA
5. Davis, California, USA
6. Sandnes, Norway
7. Trondheim, Norway
8. San Francisco, California, USA
9. Berlin, Germany
10. Barcelona, Spain
11. Basel, Switzerland
As with any list it would be easy to debate the relative merit of inclusion or ranking. But we think rather than quibble, it's more useful to read through the description of each city to learn more about their selection and using that info strive to make more cities bicycle friendly.
Why we Need Bicycle Friendly Cities
We've been promoting cycling as green transport for as long as TreeHugger has been going. But we're impressed with the League of American Bicyclists figures on why bikes should be better served in the world's metropolises:
• 40% of all trips are within two miles of the home
• 50% of the working population commutes five miles or less to work
• more than 82% of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle
• American households devote18% of every dollar spent on mobility
• 98% is for the purchase, operation, and maintenance of automobiles
• American families spend more on driving than health care, education or food
• more than one-third of the poorest families income goes to transportation
See also League of American Bicyclist's Bicycle Friendly Communities Campaign.