Skip to main content

Minneapolis is only US city to feature in global Top 20 Bike-Friendly Cities list

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It's already considered one of the best places in the U.S. for bikers, but now Minneapolis is becoming a global leader.

It is the only U.S. city to rank in the top 20 bike-friendly cities in the world, according to annual rankings compiled by the Copenhagenize Index of Bike-Friendly Cities, and reported Tuesday by Wired.com.

Minneapolis broke into the top 20 for the first time, ranking 18th in a list headed up by the European biking meccas of Copenhagen and Amsterdam, with researchers full of praise for Minnesota's biggest city.

"The city boasts 120 miles of what it calls 'on-street bikeways' and 90 miles of off-street lanes," it says in Wired. "The latter is less interesting for urban cycling, but Minneapolis is quickly becoming the go-to city in America for building infrastructure."

"A respectable bike-share system is helping cement the bicycle in the transportation foundation of the city. Seeds have been planted and a garden is growing," it adds. "American cities – often content with baby steps – are in desperate need of leadership, and Minneapolis has emerged as a contender."

Minneapolis' inclusion in the list comes a few weeks after it was ranked the number 1 city in the U.S. for biking by real estate firm Redfin, which said options for cyclists are keeping more commuters living in the city.

Why did Minneapolis rank so highly?

The Copenhagenize survey is based on rankings in 13 categories, including biking infrastructure, bike share programs, urban planning and political climate.

Minneapolis actually got the lowest score in the top 20 for the 13 categories, but was given bonus points for "particularly impressive efforts or results."

Areas where Minneapolis excelled was its impressive (for the U.S.) "modal share" – the number of people using bikes on a regular basis – as well as its commitment to building biking infrastructure, its "Nice Ride" bike-sharing program, as well as "the political will coming out of City Hall."

Minneapolis' achievement is all the more impressive as it becomes the first U.S. city to feature on the list since Copenhagenize increased the number of cities it ranked to 150 in 2013. San Francisco and Portland featured on the 2011 list, when only 80 cities were studied.

Winter improvements needed

The rankings also suggest where further improvements can be made – and in Minneapolis' case it involves making it easier for people to continue biking during the winter.

Now, it's unclear whether the researchers have ever tried biking in 40 below, but they say that while "we love that a snowy American city is the one that makes the top 20," they add that snow clearance on bike lanes should be "prioritized above all else."

"What will help the city is to stop talking about the winter and to focus on getting a massive rise in ridership during the rest of the year," it says. "Minneapolis would do well to increase its commitment to protected infrastructure and to focus on making the continent's best on-street network, and the first city NOT to feature sharrows (lanes shared by bikers and vehicles)."

Next Up

image

Minneapolis Police Department seeks authorization to use drones

A public hearing on the matter could be held this month.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 12.50.25 PM

Minnesota Harvest apple farm to open under new owners this month

New food and attractions are in store for this season's fall fun.

Pixabay - water surface

22-year-old man found dead in central Minnesota lake

The man was reported missing and later found dead in the water near the lakeside residence.

Cabela's

Seven kids charged over shoplifting at Cabela's, 100 mph police chase

The youths were pursued in a a stolen car and almost hit a squad car, police say.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.50.05 PM

Missing: 17-year-old Waite Park boy last seen July 3

Police say there is no reason to believe he's in danger.

Melanie Valencia

Northfield bicyclist killed in crash identified as 14-year-old

She was riding her bike to soccer practice before a driver hit her last week.

Samantha Holte

Appeal to find 17-year-old Minnesota girl

She was last seen north of Fergus Falls.

Pixabay - water surface

Man's body found near empty fishing boat on St. Croix River

The boat, and an unoccupied truck found on the shore, belong to a 43-year-old White Bear Lake man.

SuspectsWantedMOAShooting

Police identify MOA shooting suspects, issue nationwide warrants

Three Twin Cities residents were charged Monday in connection with helping the suspects escape.

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 7.25.42 PM

Charges: Best Western employees helped MOA shooting suspects escape

Prosecutors allege two Best Western employees helped the suspects escape.

election, vote

What to watch for in 2022 Minnesota primary elections

Bring Me The News brings you a breakdown of what to watch for Tuesday.

Related