Bicycling magazine has announced the results of its biennial ranking of America’s 50 Best Bike Cities and Tucson ranked number 24. Editors analyzed data from more than 70 cities across the U.S., including safety statistics, the number of bicycle facilities, people per bike share, and bicycle-friendly businesses. The full ranking is available on Bicycling.com.
City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Andy Bemis said: “We are honored to be recognized for our efforts at improving conditions for bicycling in Tucson and are grateful to all our partners in the region focused on making Tucson a great place to ride. There is still work to be done to ensure that people of all ages and abilities have access to a connected network of low-stress bike ways throughout our community. We are working to deliver several miles of new facilities in the form of protected bike lanes, residential bike boulevards and off-street paths in upcoming years.”
The Bicycling editorial team reviewed U.S. Census and Department of Transportation data on more than 100 cities, consulted with experts and examined data from organizations including People for Bikes and the League of American Bicyclists. The editors looked at the overall percentage of bike commuters in each city and the rate by which that number is growing. They cataloged the amount and quality of cycling infrastructure in each city—including miles of protected bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and off-street pathways —and how recently it has been implemented.
They accounted for transportation budgets, civic and political commitments, and implementation of data-driven policies that make cities safer for cyclists, like lowering speed limits, narrowing lanes, and revamping problematic intersections. The editors also took historical performance and future projections into account and asked each city to explain its plan for ensuring people of all income levels have equal access to safe streets. Finally, the editors hit the streets and talked to local advocates, officials, and everyday riders in each city on the final list, as well as in those cities that did not make the cut.