Today is Bike to Work Day and riders all across the country are taking the opportunity to commute with their bicycles. That journey will be considerably easier for some than for others. Biking in a metro area can be challenging even during low traffic periods. During rush hour, it can become a near impossibility in some locations. Chicago has taken steps in recent years to become more bike-friendly. A recent evaluation suggests that the city has been relatively successful, though it is clear that more work is left to be done.
Redfin recently compiled a list of the most bikeable cities. Minneapolis finished first, but the fastest riser was Chicago. Chicago increased its Bike Score Index by nine points since the last ranking was released in 2013 and now ranks as the 6th most bikeable city in the United States. One of the primary reasons for the improved score was the introduction of the bike sharing system Divvy. Future scores are expected to rise based on the plan to increase on-street bikeways by the year 2020.
The Bike Score Index is based on the miles of bike lanes, hills, the connectivity of the roads and the percent of commuters who use bicycles to get to work. It does not include the frequency of bike accidents directly in establishing the ranking. Chicago has worked hard to encourage more people to use bikes. It must work equally hard to protect them now that they are on the roads.
Source: Forbes, “The Most Bike-Friendly Cities In The U.S., Ranked,” by Frank Bi, 14 May 2015