Today, the League of American Bicyclists (League) released its 2017 Bicycle Friendly State ranking. This is the League’s 9th Bicycle Friendly State rank and first since 2015. Pennsylvania was ranked as the 12th Most Bicycle Friendly State.
The full report of how the League came to rank Pennsylvania 12th—and 5th on the East Coast—is available here, via PDF.
“Pennsylvania continues to make moderate, incremental progress towards actively supporting long-term improvements for the safety and comfort of people who bike,” notes the League’s report. “The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has taken action on a number of issues to address perceptions and realities of state processes being barriers to the creation of bicycling infrastructure.”
The Bicycle Friendly State ranking seeks to rank each state according to its current conditions and efforts related to bicycling. Each state receives a report card that showcases:
- Federal data on bicycling conditions
- 5 Bicycle Friendly Actions chosen by the League of American Bicyclists as important indicators of state efforts related to bicycling
- Rankings and scores in 5 Categories analyzed to create the state’s ranking
- A state summary with key points of emphasis
- Feedback Points that provide guidance on improving the state’s ranking and the safety and mobility of bicyclists within the state
The Bicycle Friendly State ranking is based upon data drawn from several data sources:
- Bike commuting data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey,
- Bicyclist fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System,
- Bicycle and Pedestrian spending data from the Federal Highway Administration’s Fiscal Management Information System,
- Survey responses from state Departments of Transportation to the combined Bicycle Friendly State & Benchmarking Survey,
- Data on advocacy and bicycle-related laws maintained by the League of American Bicyclists.
Among the improvements mentioned by the League: The change to the Bicycle Occupancy Permit system, which the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia worked for years to change. (Read about the Bicycle Occupancy Permit here.)
Pennsylvania, they note, does moderate when compared to other U.S. states as far as infrastructure and funding, education and encouragement, policies, and planning, but lacks as far as Legislation goes. We agree. The Bicycle Coalition, as many who read this blog already know, has been working to pass several laws in Harrisburg over the last few years, with moderate success.
While we were able to advocate for the passage of an extension to the red light camera program in 2016, we’ve been advocating for a vulnerable users bill, speed cameras, and a curb bill in 2017. Due to some situations out of our control, including a weird budget situation in the Capitol, those bills have not yet passed.
To see each state’s ranking, report card, and learn more about the data used for the ranking please visit the following links: