Minnesota drops two spots on list of most bike-friendly states

Time to bring in a bunch more of these things.
Time to bring in a bunch more of these things.

It's time to get it together, Minnesota.

In its annual list of bike friendly states, released Wednesday, the League of American Bicyclists ranked Minnesota number four in the country, a two-spot drop from 2012. Washington state held onto its number-one position, while Colorado and Oregon leap-frogged us.

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The scoring is based on five categories: Legislation and Enforcement (we scored 4 out of 5), Politics and Programs (4 out of 5), Infrastructure and Funding (3 out of 5), Education and Encouragement (4 out of 5), and Evaluation and Planning (2 out of 5).

So, you're probably wondering what went wrong. After all, Twin Cities cyclists braved the roads all throughout this godawful winter, and Minneapolis keeps getting in more shipments of those green things. According to the Star Tribune, we actually stayed the same -- Colorado and Portland just got better.

Here are a few recommendations (full list here) from the League:

  • Adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian.
  • Focus on fully implementing the state's existing bicycle plan.
  • Add bicycle safety as an emphasis area in the state Strategic Highway Safety Plan and aggressively fund bike safety projects.

  • In other words, Minnesota policymakers need to step it up and follow through.

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