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Chicago tops NYC as most bike-friendly city in U.S., magazine finds Bicycling in the city

When it comes to cycling, the second city is now the first, according to a leading bike publication.

Bicycling magazine is set to announce Monday that Chicago is now the best bike city in the United States, unseating New York City. This is good news for Rahm Emanuel, who had pledged when he became mayor to make Chicago the most bike-friendly place in the country.

Chicago came in at No. 2 in 2014 in the biennial ranking, after New York. Chicago has been climbing steadily, from 10th place in 2010 to fifth place in 2012.

Magazine editor-in-chief Bill Strickland said Chicago grabbed the top spot because it has emphasized building infrastructure that separates cyclists from motorists.

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I agree. I refuse to celebrate or tout this "ranking." If anyone did anything to actually enforce bike lane usage or educate the police on correct application of laws, that would truly be bike friendly. Patting Rahm et al on the back for creating bike lanes and going no further seems counter-productive.


Enforce bike lane usage?? What does THAT mean???

I doubt very much that Bill Strickland has actually ridden a bicycle around Chicago.  I don't care how many protected lanes are being built.  The streets, whether including bike lanes are not, are an absolute shambles, the worst I've seen anywhere I go.  The city has no plan regarding road work or construction, and takes months to accomplish projects that should take a week.  There is often near-warfare between cyclists and drivers.  I've been riding in Chicago since 1979, and I'd say that in many ways, this is one of the more difficult times to ride a bicycle here.  I'd take streets that are in good repair over more bike lanes, any time.  

"Strickland conceded that he’d had a somewhat rough ride to the ceremony this morning. “I rode on Chicago Avenue to Milwaukee Avenue and then the trail and, yeah, I had a sketchy moment on Chicago,” he said. Burke noted that Strickland could have taken the Kinzie protected bike lane instead, but then corrected himself, remembering that Kinzie is a mess right now due to construction."

Oh the sweet irony.

"So Chicago is really not the nicest place to ride in the country,” Strickland admitted. “If we were just going by that, we’d probably have to pick Davis, California, every year. But what we’re really looking for is the big, important metropolises that have made a huge change and are leading the way for other cities."  One would think that the best biking city would be the nicest place to ride, but I guess not.

I'd take safest over nicest any day.

If our city is #1 then it just goes to show just how dismal the rest of the country is :(

Chicago is perhaps the #1 place for honing your traffic skills.  You get a lot of experience dealing with all the dangerous and stupid things that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians do.  If you survive, you get pretty good at anticipating those things.

I don't have any benchmarks but Chicago is getting friendlier since I started riding in 1945.

It may sound grim, but I wonder which city in the U.S. comes in first place for riders hit and killed while bicycling on a public city street?

This is mostly for states. Florida is # 1.

It is difficult to find current accurate data naming the most fatal U.S. city for cyclists. Maybe our friend, John Greenfield has more info. My guess is that it is New York City.


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