In honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest Bicycle Friendly States ranking. In the sixth annual assessment, Indiana achieved a #42 ranking nationally, while placing #11 in the Midwest.
“We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Delaware, Colorado and Oregon,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “But, as the scores clearly highlight, there’s much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and planning in every state. ”
The Bicycle Friendly States Ranking is now even more comprehensive, capturing more information than ever before and delving more deeply into the issues embedded in becoming a more bicycle friendly state.
Indiana’s #42 ranking was based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.
Although Indiana lags behind other states in laws that protect bicyclists and pedestrians, such as vulnerable roadway user legislation and safe passing laws, Indiana does provide bicycle education for law enforcement, a state bicycle plan (adopted in 2003) and an emphasis on safety in the strategic highway safety plan. One recent development is a state-wide bicycle suitability map which has been drafted by INDOT. This map, currently a draft undergoing public comment, ranks all of Indiana’s state and federal roadways according to their suitability for bicyclists.
“While at a local level we are seeing great progress in cities like Carmel, Goshen, Columbus, Indianapolis, and more, we continue to struggle to achieve similar progress at the state level” stated Nancy Tibbett, Executive Director of Bicycle Indiana.
The BFS program is more than an annual assessment. Throughout the year, League staff will work actively with state officials and advocacy leaders to help Indiana identify and implement the programs, policies and campaigns that will improve conditions for bicyclists.
Click here to see how Indiana ranked in the five evaluation categories. Learn more about the BFS program at www.bikeleague.org/states.
Source: Bicycle Indiana, Inside INdiana Business