The Chainlink

So exactly which American cities are bike friendly? The Huffington Post identifies the usual suspects: Portland, Minneapolis, Boulder, and Davis. The East Atlanta Patch can’t get enough of the Big Peach’s Open Streets. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is cautiously optimistic about the future. Closer to home, Arlington Heights considers a Complete Streets policy with a bike rack ordinance. But across the lake, Michigan Live asks how safe it is to ride across Detroit while the Star wonders why Indy’s national ranking plummeted from 19 to 30 ... in one year. And here in the City of the Big Shoulders? Copenhagenize rains on our parade with its 2012 Index of Bicycle Friendly Cities. What's up with that?

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I don't give much credence to either the Huff Post or the Copenhagenize ratings. Of the 7 cities Huff Post lists, 4 are in the US and only 3 are in Europe - and none anywhere else. Copenhagenize's ratings are based on the number of bicycle trips people make (and they don't say how that data is collected). If there are lots of bike trips, they infer, then the city must be bike-friendly. Cold-weather cities will never be on their list, no matter what they do.

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