In honor of Bike to Work Day, we pulled together a list of America's most bike-friendly neighborhoods. The neighborhood rankings below are based on the latest neighborhood-level data provided to us by the folks at Walk Score (Walk Score measures walkability, Bike Score measures bikeability).
Bike Score places neighborhoods and cities into four categories based on a 100-point score (ranked on bike lanes, hills, destinations and road connectivity, and bike commuting mode share): Biker's Paradise (90-10), Very Bikeable (70-89), Bikeable (50-69), and Somewhat Bikeable (0-49). The data here cover more than 7,000 neighborhoods across the United States. The table below shows America's 25 most bikeable neighborhoods.
|Top 25 Neighborhoods by Bike Score|
|1||Old North Davis||Davis, CA||100.0||424|
|1||Parkside Resident||Madison, WI||100.0||14|
|1||Old East Davis||Davis, CA||100.0||583|
|1||Downtown Core||Davis, CA||100.0||420|
|5||Goss Grove||Boulder, CO||100.0||1,689|
|6||South Eugene High School||Eugene, OR||100.0||660|
|7||West University||Eugene, OR||99.9||6,548|
|8||University Avenue||Davis, CA||99.8||483|
|9||Pie Allen||Tucson, AZ||99.8||957|
|10||Midtown/Winn Park Capitol Avenue||Sacramento, CA||99.8||6,268|
|11||University Heights||Albuquerque, NM||99.7||2,401|
|12||Marshall School||Sacramento, CA||99.7||2,217|
|13||Newton Booth||Sacramento, CA||99.7||2,750|
|14||Interland/University Research Park||Davis, CA||99.7||408|
|15||Brittingham Apartments||Madison, WI||99.6||86|
|16||Jefferson Westside||Eugene, OR||99.5||6,471|
|17||University of Oregon Campus||Eugene, OR||99.5||3,024|
|18||Iron Horse||Tucson, AZ||99.4||549|
|19||Boulevard Park||Sacramento, CA||99.4||2,893|
|20||New Era Park||Sacramento, CA||99.3||1,673|
|22||Armory Park||Tucson, AZ||99.2||1,632|
|23||Alhambra Triangle||Sacramento, CA||99.2||387|
|24||Richmond Grove||Sacramento, CA||99.1||1,986|
|25||Bayview Foundation Inc.||Madison, WI||99.1||150|
Data courtesy of Walk Score
Six neighborhoods have perfect scores: three in Davis, California, and one each in Madison, Wisconsin; Boulder, Colorado and Eugene, Oregon. Multiple cities have several neighborhoods among the top 25. Davis, California has five; neighboring Sacramento has seven; Eugene has four; and Madison has three. Aside from Madison and Cambridge, all of the top 25 are located in the Western part of the United States. Many of the top neighborhoods are located in college towns.
We can also use these neighborhood data to rank the cities with the most bikeable neighborhoods. The map below by our trusty cartographer, Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute, plots the two highest bike score categories for 66 cities. The size of the dot shows the number of neighborhoods in that city that have a score of at least 70. The pink pie slice indicates the share of those neighborhoods that score at 90 or above, or Biker's Paradise.
The top-rated city overall is Tucson, with 89 neighborhoods that score 70 or higher, and Minneapolis and Portland tie for second with 61. Albuquerque and Chicago each have 60. Boulder, Sacramento, Davis, New York, and Denver round out the top 10. The rest of the top 20 include: Tempe, Oakland, Madison, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Philadelphia, Arlington, Austin, and New Orleans.
When it comes to just the top-ranked category, Tucson tops the list again with 32 Biker's Paradise neighborhoods. Boulder is second with 22, and Davis is third with 17. Madison and Sacramento tie for fourth with 16 each. Minneapolis has 15, Albuquerque has 14, Denver and Portland each have 12, and Tempe rounds out the top 10 with 10. Cambridge, Eugene, and Philadelphia each have eight. San Francisco has seven, D.C. has five, and New Orleans has four. Lincoln, Nebraska, Missoula, Montana, and St. Petersburg, Florida have three each, and both Boise, Idaho and Oakland have two. Boston, Irvine, Pasadena, Salt Lake City, and Seattle each have one neighborhood that ranks in the highest category.
Still, it's abundantly clear that America still has a long way to go on bike friendliness (see the table below).
|Distribution of Neighborhoods by Bike Score|
|Bike Score||Number of Neighborhoods||Percent of Total|
|90-100: Biker's Paradise||224||3.2 percent|
|70-89: Very Bikeable||1021||14.6 percent|
|50-69: Bikeable||2225||31.7 percent|
|0-49: Somewhat Bikeable||3546||50.5 percent|
Data courtesy of Walk Score
More than eight in 10 neighborhoods across the United States fall into the two least bikeable categories. And more than half of them — 3500 plus — are concentrated in very bottom category. Conversely, just 3.2 percent of the neighborhoods make the top-ranked category, Biker's Paradise, while another 14.6 percent can be considered Very Bikeable.
That's something mayors, transportation planners, and all of us need to think about on this Bike to Work Day.
Top image: Commuters park their bikes before taking advantage of a free breakfast provided for cyclists. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)