Of the thousands of big cities around the globe you can take a trip to, there are a few special cities that were designed to support the cycling culture. In those cities, the best way to get a taste is by grabbing your bike and go. So we made a list of the top bike-friendly cities in the world, so you can start creating your hit list for travels to come.
Get this, in Copenhagen there are more bikes than people. Over half of the locals bike to work or school and the city continually builds infrastructure to support them. In fact the city is spending $8.9 million installing 380 “intelligent traffic signals” to spot and prioritize bikes and buses! Copenhagen’s dimensions are compact making it difficult to explore by car, but perfect to explore by bike.
You can’t write a list of the most bike friendly cities without including Amsterdam, the city many call the bike capital of the world. With good reason! Up to 40% of the commuters in Amsterdam ride bikes. And 63% of Amsterdam residents ride their bikes every day. That’s huge!
The city has encouraged bicycle commuting by lowering the speed limit for cars, increasing the paths and lanes with bike-specific traffic signals, and building underground parking garages for bikes.
Believe it or not, Minneapolis is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. Over the past five years, this city has rearranged its policy to facilitate transportation and bicycle recreation. There are miles and miles of off-street paths and a single-track mountain biking trail in a park near the city’s downtown center. The city even plows the bike paths when it snows. A+ for Minneapolis.
San Francisco was recently crowned the “most bike-friendly city” in the nation. Lucky for us, it’s the home base for ESPIN eBikes. There are an estimated 82,000 bike trips in the city per day! Plus the commutes on Market Street have gone up 25% in a year and the city is racing to catch up with it. They have made miles and miles of bike lane improvements in 2016. We can’t wait to see what they do next year!
The Dutch know what they’re doing when it comes to cycling! Utrecht boasts the world’s largest bike parking facility, with space for 12,500 bikes. The jaw-rattling cobblestones around the city aren’t ideal, but they add to the culture of the bustling city. With more than 50% of all commutes happening on bikes it’s no wonder the Netherlands most populous city is so bike-friendly.
Another U.S. city makes the list! Portland is the only U.S. city to receive the League of American Bicyclists’ top rating. It leads the charge to put two-wheel transportation on the same level as automobile travel. Portland has 270 miles of on-street bike lanes and paved paths, hundreds of signs to help bikers, and tons lock-ups for bikes around the city. There is even a mandate that incentivizes developers to provide showers and locker rooms to bike commuters! Road trip anyone?
Montreal began constructing bike paths in the 1980s and now has almost 400 miles across the city. However, only 2% of all commutes are made on two wheels. The infrastructure is beginning to make the city more bike friendly, but surveys have shown that too many cyclists are nudged onto busy roads. Still, over half of the adult population rides their bike at least once per week.
In the three-mile radius of downtown Munich, you’ll travel “more quickly and flexibly on a bike than by any other means of transport.” Munich has loads of dedicated bike lanes, bike traffic signals, and hundreds of market routes for cyclists. Definitely on the bucket list!
Western Australia’s capital has hundreds of miles of bike paths, lanes, and bike-friendly streets. According to their Department for Planning and Infrastructure, Perth has “one of the most extensive and advanced cycling networks in the world.” The city also has enclosed bike parking at train stations, bike lockers, and signs to keep cyclists on the right path. It might be time to take a trip Down Under!
Now that you have a list, it may be the perfect way to start planning your travel for 2017. Happy cycling.
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