The League of American Bicyclists recently ranked the states based on "bike friendliness."
We (Idaho) are number 37. Our neighbor, Washington, is number 1. It's always good to be ahead of Mississippi - they're number 47.
How is "bike friendliness" measured?
Maybe we don't smile and wave enough as we're riding, here in Idaho.
But seriously... the LAB's broad categories are: Legislation, Policies and Programs, Infrastructure, Education and Encouragement, Evaluation and Planning, and Enforcement.
Those sound like good categories to base their rankings on. (An ongoing mantra of mine is... we've got generally good infrastructure and laws, but education and enforcement are essentially nonexistent. Admittedly, that's based on my very geographically-limited viewpoint. I'm unqualified to compare the Boise area with any other area.)
The list of states-by-rank can be seen HERE. (The questionnaire they based their rankings on can be seen HERE. It's long... some of it is rather mumbo-jumbo... but it's interesting.)
Some good analysis and commentary by Bill Schneider can be read HERE.
(Ada County is currently the holder of a "Bronze Medal" as a bike-friendly community. But IMO, they were deceptive on the questionnaire, implying that there's a lot more education and enforcement than there really is.)
The deceptive thing about Idaho -- and probably any state, especially in the west -- is the diversity.
For instance, Boise is a much better bike habitat than, say Horseshoe Bend or Yellow Pine or most of the rest of the state.
Now, to be fair, a large proportion of the population lives in Ada and Canyon county, so maybe it should be weighted by population rather than miles of road, but that's pretty hard to do.
I think Boise is a pretty good place to cycle and I don't get out to the rest of the state (on my bike) that much. So, I'm OK.
Wood River Valley (Hailey / Ketchum / Sun Valley) was just awarded the SILVER level of bike-friendliness.
More details HERE.
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