On a High Note: Riding High - Cities Increasing Biking

US cities increase bike infrastructure

Funding bike infrastructure is about climate change, public health, and economic development. So what can cities do to get more people behind the handlebars and adopt cycling as their main mode of transportation? They might start by looking to Boston, Chicago, Austin, Oakland, and Missoula. In all five cities, as highlighted in a new report by the League of American Bicyclists, the number of bike commuters is higher than the national average (0.5% in 2019) and has increased over the past decade.

SmartAsset: Most Bike-Friendly Cities in America - 2021, June 2, 2021.

Consistent strategies taken by all five cities include:

  • Having a specific, up to date bike plan
  • Using planned road maintenance and repaving as a key opportunity to add bike lanes
  • Continued development of bike networks despite lack of data or reporting delays

In Oakland, bikers make up 3.1% of commuters and many live only a short ride from BART stations, so the city planned accordingly. Oakland is currently approaching 200 miles of bike lanes.

In Boston, which increased its share of people commuting by bike by 59% from 2000 to 2019, the city has focused on creating a network of lanes within a historic city without a grid.

In Missoula, where more than 6% of people get around by bike, the city set a goal of tripling the number of people who walk, bike, and take transit by 2045 -- which has pushed city leaders to develop better bike infrastructure.

Now This: How to Make U.S. Cities More Bike-Friendly | One Small Step, August 31, 2020.

Bloomberg: How to Build a City Around Bikes, Fast, July 21, 2020.