Even though the state's long winters suppress bicycle riding, Minnesota ranked second in a new measure of the most bike-friendly states in the U.S. compiled by the League of American Bicyclists.
Only the state of Washington ranked higher, maintaining the top spot on the list for the seventh year in a row. Wisconsin came in third. The league released its rankings Thursday at the start of National Bicycling Month. Minnesota moved up from fourth on the 2013 list and Wisconsin is up from eighth. You can read the details of the survey here.
The Star Tribune had reaction to the rankings from Tim Mitchell, Minnesota's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, who told the newspaper, "This year's Bicycle Friendly State ranking is a great acknowledgement of the dedication and commitment of our many agency partners, advocates and bicyclists from across the state." He credited innovative mapping efforts, new bike-friendly legislation and increased funding for Safe Routes to School and bike routes for the state's improved showing on the list.
Forum News Service had a story that said that nearly half of Minnesotans rode a bicycle last year, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
“This ranking is recognition of the work on behalf of bicycling being done by both the public and private sectors throughout the state,” Dorian Grilley, executive director, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota told WCCO. “It is not only because of the good work that is being done by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, but because the Department of Health, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Department of Natural Resources, other public agencies, local governments and many of our state’s businesses, both big and small, are all engaged in making bicycling better in Minnesota.”