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Best Bike Cities 2019

The California cities of Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, San Diego, Ventura, Lompoc, Goleta, Santa Maria, Long Beach and Carpinteria were all in the top 50 best overall cities for bicycling compiled by People For Bikes in May 2019. Santa Barbara was ranked the highest of all California cities, in 12th place.

Each of the cities were evaluated using the below criteria:

  • Ridership (the number of riders and their frequency of riding)
  • Safety
  • Network (how well bike routes connect people to the places they need to go)
  • Reach (how well a city’s bicycle network covers the entire city’s needs)
  • Acceleration (the pace at which a city is improving its bicycle network)

Top Bicycle-Friendly Cities

The city of Boulder, CO ranked 1st overall. Manhattan, NY ranked 1st in ridership, Arlington, VA ranked 1st in safety, Provincetown, MA ranked 1st in network, Springdale, AR ranked first in reach and Memphis, TN ranked 1st in acceleration.

How California Cities Stacked Up

San Francisco

The city of San Francisco ranked 6th in the nation for ridership. Over 8 million bikes were counted in San Francisco in 2018. San Francisco saw 2,000,000 bike share rides in 2018, due in large part to the expansion of GoBike and the addition of JUMP bikes in the city.  Around 45,000 bicyclists were counted in a single day in San Francisco in 2018. An estimated 19,000 San Francisco residents commuted to work via bicycle in 2017.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles didn’t fare as well as San Francisco in the rankings. Los Angeles  ranked 182nd in the nation overall. A large part of Los Angeles’ poor placement can be attributed to the number of residents cycling on Los Angeles city streets. The study notes that 0.6% of all Los Angeles work commutes involve a bicycle. Los Angeles County also reported 26 cycling fatalities in 2017.

There is hope for bicyclists in Los Angeles. A Bicycle Coalition study showed that the risk of bicycle crash dropped 42% after bike lanes were installed along eight Los Angeles streets. Los Angeles also boasts over 350 miles of bike path lanes as of April 2008. Los Angeles is also considering bike lane barriers as a means of reducing bicycle accidents in the city.

About The Study
People For Bikes, who compiled the data for the 2019 City Ratings survey, work with avid cyclists, local businesses and city governments to find ways to educate the public about cycling issues, improve cyclist safety and increase ridership. The bicycle attorneys of Nadrich &  Cohen applaud People For Bikes for their work to improve the lives and safety of cyclists everywhere.


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