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How did Austin fare in Bicycling Magazine’s Best Cities to Bike list?

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published September 3, 2014

Austin just missed making the top 10 in Bicycling Magazine’s list of the 50 most cycling-friendly cities in the United States.

The magazine releases its rankings - based on percentage of bike commuters, amount and quality of cycling infrastructure, transportation budgets, civic and political commitment, historical performance, future projections and more - every two years.

New York City topped this year’s list, released today. Austin came in a respectable 11th.New York City from seventh place in 2012. Magazine editors noted the city’s installation of more than 350 miles of new bike lanes, a spike in the number of bike commuters and 96,000-person strong membership in the nation’s biggest bike share system.

The magazine ranked Chicago second, citing its ambitious city bike plan, lowered rates of speeding cars, penalties for scofflaw cyclists, installation of bike-share stations and construction of a major bike-ped flyover.

Minneapolis was third, Portland (a perennial powerhouse in these listings) dropped to fourth, and Washington D.C. came in fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Boulder, Colo.; San Francisco; Seattle; Ft. Collins, Colo.; and Cambridge, Mass.

Austin came in 11th. Not sure if we deserve that or not - the list puts us just above Denver (which has lots of flat downtown terrain and cooler temps, but snow to deal with in the winter) and Boston (another pleasant biking town, with miles of separated bike paths).

Working in our favor? More bike lanes, a couple of bikeways, that lovely new Southern Walnut Creek separated path, the new boardwalk and a fledgling bike-share system. But we’ve got brutally hot summers, some daunting hills and not necessarily a lot of love for two-wheelers among the motoring public.


Here’s the full list:

1. New York City

2. Chicago

3. Minneapolis

4. Portland, Oregon

5. Washington, D.C.

6. Boulder, Colorado

7. San Francisco

8. Seattle

9. Fort Collins, Colorado

10. Cambridge, Massachusetts

11. Austin!

12. Denver

13. Madison, Wisc.

14. Philadelphia

15. Eugene, Oregon

16. Boston

17. Tempe, Ariz.

18. Tucson, Ariz.

19. Arlington, Virginia

20. Boise, Idaho

21. Pittsburgh

22 New Orleans

23. Long Beach, California

24. San Jose, California

25. Indianapolis

26. Salt Lake City

27. Oakland, California

28. Los Angeles

29. Miami

30. Scottsdale, Arizina

31. Alexandria, Virginia

32. Sacramento

33. Thousand Oaks, California

34. Chattanooga

35. Cincinnati

36. Milwaukee

37. Gainsville, Florida

38. Salem, Oregon

39. Albuquerque

40. Saint Paul

41. Grand Rapids, Michigan

42. Reno, Nevada

43. Louisville, Kentucky

44. Columbia, Missouri

45. Colorado Springs

46. Ann Arbor, Michigan

47. Omaha, Nebraska

48. San Antonio

49. Des Moines, Iowa

50. Cleveland