According to the new site Bike Score, Madison is ranked the 5th most “bikeable” city in the US. Announced during bike to work week, the new rankings comes from the creators the creators of Walk Score and Transit Score. Bike Score launched the new site with rankings for ten major (populations more than 200,000) U.S. cities:
To request Bike Score for your city, visit www.walkscore.com/bike. Bike Score will add the top 10 cities receiving votes between now and the end of National Bike Month on May 31, 2012. So if you want your city included, as they say in Chicago, vote early, vote often! It is certainly possible, if not probable, that the top rankings will change when bike meccas like Boulder, Davis, Cambridge, etc. are added.
According to their blog, Bike Score provides a 0-100 rating of the bikeability of a location based on the availability of bike infrastructure (lanes and trails), the hilliness of the area, destinations and road connectivity, and the number of bike commuters. The Bike Score for a city is then calculated by applying the Bike Score algorithm block-by-block throughout the city and weighting the scores by population density. You can read more about the methodology here.
It appears by a link at the bottom right corner of the page that local bike coordinators might have the ability to get cities added as well. If you know your local bike czar and want your city analyzed, send them the link.
It is interesting that snowy and cold Minneapolis beat out Portland, largely on the strength of the trail system in the Twin Cities. Mayor Ryback will once again be able to make his claim that “Portland is just a street in Minneapolis.” Whether you get a kick out of snarky political sound bites or not, a little competition to be the best city for cycling will benefit us all.
One comment from Madison made the interesting point that this test is clearly graded on a curve. If my daughter got a 67 on a math test, that would score as a D, but in the world of bicycle friendly US cities, that puts you in the top 5. It would be interesting to see how Copenhagen or Amsterdam would rank in Bike Score.
Copenhagen is ranked by Walk Score, and gets a 93, or “Walker’s Paradise.” I imagine they would get a similar score for cycling. As a local point of pedestrian pride, Milwaukee tops Copenhagen in Walk Score with a 97 due to a dense urban street grid and sidewalks pretty much everywhere, AND we have custard stands (just saying).