What makes a city bike-friendly? Ken McLeod, policy director with the League of American Bicyclists, points to the “Five E’s”:

  • Engineering, or the infrastructure that supports biking, such as well-connected biking lanes;
  • Equity and accessibility, such as bike-sharing programs;
  • Education about safe biking;
  • Encouragement to get people biking, such as bike-themed events, and
  • Evaluation and planning to develop seamless bike networks.

“Ideally, in great bike-friendly cities, biking is normal,” McLeod said: People from all demographics use bikes to safely get to school or work or to run errands.

City plans for bicycling, or more broadly, plans for active transportation — that is, using human energy, primarily walking and bicycling, to get around — are becoming more common, says Rebecca Davies, city ratings program director with People for Bikes. “If cities don’t have those plans in place, then when funding becomes available, you’re not ready to take advantage of it,” she said. Smart Cities Dive looked into the bike-friendly features of the top large, medium and small cities in the group’s ratings this year.

Read the full article about bike infrastructure by Karen Kroll at Smart Cities Dive.