After steadily climbing up the Bicycle Friendly States ranking to reach #2 last year, Colorado has dropped to the #6 position this year. The ranking is compiled by the League of American Bicyclists and is based on the following five categories: Legislation and Enforcement, Policies & Programs, Infrastructure & Funding, Education & Encouragement and Evaluation & Planning.
We were heartened last year by Governor Hickenlooper’s announced goal to become the #1 most bicycle friendly state. While the state is working on some recommended improvements, Colorado won’t reach this goal if it continues to reduce funding for bicycle projects and programs.
This year’s drop directly reflects the lack of state funding being devoted to bicycle safety and infrastructure.
Since the ranking compares Colorado’s efforts to other states, increased state bicycle funding in places like Minnesota, Delaware and Wisconsin really shines a spotlight on the absence of Colorado state funds directed at bicycle improvements. Our ranking isn’t likely to improve next year if this doesn’t change. In fact, we may get bumped further down the list by additional states that are dedicating funding to bicycle infrastructure.
Here are just a few things Bicycle Colorado is doing to improve bicycling in our state:
- We are leading the effort to pass state legislation to fund the Colorado Safe Routes to School safety program after it was removed from the transportation department’s budget.
- Working with local and regional governments to fully utilize available federal funding for bicycle projects
- Advocating for the inclusion of bicycle safety programs into the Colorado Strategic Highway Safety Plan