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Videos: Best bicycling states of 2013 -- and why Colorado finished near the top

The League of American Bicyclists is out with its list of the best states for cycling -- and Colorado finished in impressive fashion.

Not that the League thinks any state has achieved perfection when it comes to welcoming and protecting cyclists. In our top ten list below, we've included the organization's report cards -- things that can be done to make the cycling experience even better -- along with videos from each state and the complete fifty-state rundown. Check it all out below.

Number 10: Arizona

• Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian.

• Develop a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) curriculum for bicycling enforcement both for new officers and continuing education -- focus on laws related to bicyclists, interactions between motorists and bicyclists, and bicycle collision investigation.

• Integrate bicycle enforcement training into the police academy curriculumfor new officers.

• Adopt a statewide, all-ages cell phone and texting ban to combat distracted driving and increase safety for everyone.

• Collect data regarding enforcement actions against motorists based on incidents with bicycles,such as traffic tickets issued, prosecutions, or convictions.

• Create a system of state bike routes that are safe (e.g.wide shoulders, bike lanes, etc.), connect to destinations, and are suitable for all types of bicyclists.

• Dedicate state funding for bicycle projects and programs, especially those focused on safety and eliminating gaps and increasing access for bicycle networks.

• Hold a state bicycle summit with opportunities for professional development, contact with elected officials, and networking.

• Add bicycle safety as an emphasis area in the state Strategic Highway Safety Plan and aggressively fund bike safety projects.

• Ensure that bicycle safety is amajor emphasis in all transportation projects, programs and policies to address this issue.

Number 9: Illinois

• Adopt performance measures,such as a low percentage of exempted projects, to better track and support Complete Streets/Bike Accommodation Policy compliance.

• Adopt federal funding project rating criteria that incentivize bicycle projects and accommodations, particularly in road projects.At least 80% of TA should be spend on bike/ped projects.

• Aggressively partner with bicycle advocates to promote the online bike safety learning quizzes for adult cyclists, motorists, and child cyclists,which are currently being developed.Ideally, the quizzes should be included in PE learning standards, and be routinely used in traffic school and drivers education programs.

• Collect data regarding enforcement actions against motorists based on incidents with bicycles, such as traffic tickets issued, prosecutions, or convictions.The new bike safety quizzes could be used as diversion or education tool.

• Add bicycle safety as an emphasis area in the state Strategic Highway Safety Plan and aggressively fund bike safety projects taking advantage of HSIP/402 funding.

• Adopt performance measures to decrease bicycle fatalities.Ensure that bicycle safety is a major emphasis in all transportation projects, programs and policies to address this issue.

• Adopt a statewide, all-ages cell phone ban to combat distracted driving and increase safety for everyone.

• Adopt amode share goal for biking to encourage the integration of bicycle transportation needs into all transportation and land use policy and project decisions.

• Since arterial and collectorroads are the backbone of every transportation network, it is essential to provide adequate bicycle facilities along these roads.

Continue to keep counting down the best bicycling states of 2013 -- and to see where Colorado finished.

 

Number 8: Wisconsin

• Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian.

• Develop a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) curriculum for bicycling enforcement both for new officers and continuing education -- focus on laws related to bicyclists, interactions between motorists and bicyclists, and bicycle collision investigation.

• Integrate bicycle enforcement training into the police academy curriculumfor new officers.

• Adopt a statewide, all-ages cell phone ban to combat distracted driving and increase safety for everyone.

• Collect data regarding enforcement actions against motorists based on incidents with bicycles,such as traffic tickets issued, prosecutions, or convictions.

• Create a system of state bike routes that connect to destinations, and are suitable for all types of bicyclists.

• Dedicate more state funding for bicycle projects and programs, especially those focused on safety and eliminating gaps and increasing access for bicycle networks.

• Update your state bicycle master plan.The plan update should evaluate and build on the previous bicycle master plan, and reflect changes in bicycle user needs.

• Adopt performance measures to decrease bicycle fatalities.

• Adopt amode share goal for biking to encourage the integration of bicycle transportation needs into all transportation and land use policy and project decisions.

Number 7: New Jersey

• Adopt a 'move over' law similar to a 'police/emergency vehicle move over' law to address bicyclist safety.

• Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian.

• Adopt a law prohibiting a motorist from opening an automobile's door unless the motorist is able to do so safely.

• Ensure that Hurricane Sandy rebuild efforts along the Jersey Shore include Complete Streets and safe cycling infrastructure.

• Integrate bicycle enforcement training into the police academy curriculum for new officers. instructor training is offered by the International Police Mountain Bike Association, the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

• Adopt a policy requiring state office buildings, state park and recreation facilities, and other state facilities to provide bicycle parking.

• The state is spending a low amount of federal funding on bicyclists and pedestrians.Adopt federal funding project rating criteria that incentivize bicycle projects and accommodations.

• Update your state bicycle master plan.The plan update should evaluate and build on the previous bicycle master plan, and reflect changes in bicycle user needs.

• New Jersey has a high number of bicyclist fatalities. Adopt performancemeasuresto decrease bicycle fatalities and ensure that bicycle safety is a major emphasis in all transportation projects, programs and policies to address this issue.

Continue to keep counting down the best bicycling states of 2013 -- and to see where Colorado finished.

 

Number 6: Massachusetts

• Adopt a safe passing lawwith aminimum distance of 3 feet to address bicyclist safety.

• Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian.

• Adopt a law allowing transportation agencies to post 20 mph or lower speed limits under certain circumstances.

• Adopt a statewide, all-ages cell phone ban to combat distracted driving and increase safety for everyone.

• Adopt a policy requiring state office buildings, state park and recreation facilities, and other state facilities to provide bicycle parking.

• Since arterial and collector roads are the backbone of every transportation network, it is essential to provide adequate bicycle facilities along these roads.Increase the percentage of state highway network that has paved shoulders or bike lanes greater or equal to 4 feet wide.

• The state is spending a low amount of federal funding on bicyclists and pedestrians.Adopt federal funding project rating criteria that incentivize bicycle projects and accommodations.

• Create a state bicycle ridersmanual to ensure cyclists have a pocket guide for rules of the road,relevant laws, state bike routes, and other necessary information.

• Hold a bicycle ride sponsored by the Governor and/or legislators to show their constituents that their elected officials support bicycling.

Number 5: Delaware

• Use a mix ofstate and federal fundsto invest $10 million in bike and pedestrian improvements.

• Provide program construction funding for high visibility, signature bikeways that connect cities and suburbs, including the Wilmington-New Castle Greenway and the Georgetown-Lewes Trail.

• Provide program engineering funding for the first phase of the bikeway connecting Wilmington and Newark.

• Adopt a rigorous project prioritization process that preferentially ranks projectsthat do the most to expand low-stress bikeway connections between trip generators and destinations.

• Adopt performance measures to decrease pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, add an NGO bike/ped representative to the Highway Safety Committee and aggressively fund ped/bike safety projects.

• Create an evidence-based cycling education program for 4th and 5th graders.

• Adopt a state bicycle design manual that includes design drawings and guidance on when to use established and innovative design treatments.

• Provide innovative bike-friendly training to engineers that qualify for continuing education credit.

• Develop a competitive bicycle parking grant programtargeting universities and municipalitiesto aggressively expand safe and convenient end-of-trip facilities.

• Create a distinct, visually powerful and uniform statewide bikeway network signage system.

Continue to keep counting down the best bicycling states of 2013 -- and to see where Colorado finished.

 

Number 4: Minnesota

• Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian.

• Adopt a law prohibiting a motorist from opening an automobile's door unless the motorist is able to do so safely.

• Adopt a statewide, all-ages cell phone ban to combat distracted driving and increase safety for everyone.

• Create a state bicycle riders manual to ensure cyclists have a pocket guide for rules of the road,relevant laws, state bike routes, and other necessary information.

• Hold a bicycle ride sponsored by the Governor and/or legislators to show their constituents that their elected officials support bicycling.

• Focus on fully implementing the state's existing bicycle plan.

• Add bicycle safety as an emphasis area in the state Strategic Highway Safety Plan and aggressively fund bike safety projects.

• Adopt amode share goal for biking to encourage the integration of bicycle transportation needs into all transportation and land use policy and project decisions.

Number 3: Oregon

• Conduct a review of state traffic laws to ensure compliance with the bicycle equipment related sections of the Uniform Vehicle Code.

• Repeal the state's mandatory bike lane law.

• Repeal the state's mandatory side path law. These types of laws create conflicts between bicycles and other path users and ignore the topography and connectivity of available paths.Most side paths are designed for recreational use and are not convenient for transportation purposes.

• Provide specific training to engineers and planners on how to implement the Complete Streets/Accommodation Policy in everyday decisions.

• Adopt performance measures,such as mode shift or a low percentage of exempted projects, to better track and support Complete Streets/Bike Accommodation Policy compliance.

• Since arterial and collector roads are the backbone of every transportation network, it is essential to provide adequate bicycle facilities along these roads. Increase the percentage of state highway network that has paved shoulders or bike lanes greater or equal to 4 feet wide.

• Hold a bicycle ride sponsored by the Governor and/or legislators to show their constituents that their elected officials support bicycling.

• Adopt a mode share goal for biking to encourage the integration of bicycle transportation needs into all transportation and land use policy and project decisions.

Continue to keep counting down the best bicycling states of 2013 -- and to see where Colorado finished.

 

Number 2: Colorado

• Colorado is a model for bicycling traffic laws. Ensure that laws in communities across the state provide safety and accessibility for bicyclists.

• Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian.

• Adopt performance measures, such as mode shift or a low percentage of exempted projects, to better track and support Complete Streets/Bike Accommodation Policy compliance.

• Adopt a policy requiring state office buildings, state park and recreation facilities, and other state facilities to provide bicycle parking.

• Add bicycle safety as an emphasis area in the state Strategic Highway Safety Plan and aggressively fund bike safety projects.

• Establish a statewide bicycle advisory committee to provide accountability for bicycle projects and programs.TheBAC should include diverse representation, formal inclusion in decision making, a work plan, and regularly held meetings (at least quarterly).

• Adopt a mode share goal for biking to encourage the integration of bicycle transportation needs into all transportation and land use policy and project decisions.

Number 1: Washington

• Adopt a safe passing law with a minimum distance of 3 feet to address bicyclist safety.

• Washington is a leader in using TE/TA funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects, but there is still room for improvement in using STP, HSIP and CMAQ funds.

• Protect and expand dedicated state funding and, to the extent possible, federal funding, for Safe Routes to School programs and projects.

• Focus on fully implementing and funding priority projects in the state's existing bike/ped plan. Identify and update bicycle projects for inclusion in the STIP as per the state bike/ped plan.

• Determine barriersthat people face when bicycling and implement a comprehensive strategy to increase ridership

• The statewide bicycle advisory committee should meet more consistently (at least annually) in order to increase its impact.

• Improve data collection for bicycle travel and safety. Currently, the state spends a minimal amount for a once-in-a-year volunteer bicycle and pedestrian count. Similarly,significant gaps exist in crash data collection.

• Better account for and elucidate the state transportation projects that include non-motorized facilities. There needs to be a better threshold or accounting for what is actually included in projects.

• Balance state transportation investments to better reflect mode share and safety needs; bike/ped is 13% of trips and 16% of serious injury and death, but receives

• Legislature should improve local transportation funding options to include non-motorized investments.

2013 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings

More from our Things to Do archive: "Denver Cruiser Ride: City officially proclaims Wednesdays 'Bike Night in Denver.'"


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