Washington ranks as state friendliest to bicyclists

May 26, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. May 26, 2011

Washington is the Most Bicycle Friendly State again.

The ranking from the League of American Bicyclists honors a strong commitment to bicycling through policies and programs. The honor marks the fourth consecutive year the Evergreen State has clinched the No. 1 spot.

“Public support is strong for making biking safer and more convenient for children, commuters and recreational users,” state Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond said in a statement. “WSDOT works closely with regional and local agencies to increase the number of walkers and bikers, while also improving safety to reduce the number of bicycle- and pedestrian- related collisions.”

The league rates states based on bike-friendly legislation, policies and programs, education, places to ride and planning. Washington scored consistently high in all ranking evaluation categories.

“Washington’s effort to create bicycle-friendly communities ensures that many generations will have transportation options, access to recreation, health benefits and a higher quality of life,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a statement.

Statewide, the number of people bicycling has increased — a figure reflected in the state Department of Transportation’s annual statewide bicycle and pedestrian count.

In a three-day snapshot taken at 155 locations across the state in fall 2010, volunteers counted almost 16,000 bicyclists, compared to more than 9,600 in the previous year.

Washington’s bicyclist-involved fatality crash rate improved from 1.37 per 1 million people in 2008 to 1.35 in 2009.

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