California ranks 4th as most bike-friendly state, but LA still dangerous

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2020 | Benefits of Bicycling |

Each year, more and more Californians decide to commute to work by bicycle or become active cyclists for exercise or more. Thankfully, according to a 2019 League of American Bicyclists study, California ranks 4th as a bike-friendly state.

The areas each state was evaluated for included the following:

  • Infrastructure and Funding: California’s grade was B+.
  • Education and Encouragement: California’s grade was B.
  • Legislation and Enforcement: California’s grade was C.
  • Policies and Programs: California’s grade was A.
  • Evaluation and Planning. California’s grade was B+.

The League of American Bicyclists also recognized California as one of only five states to take all five of its bike-friendly actions. These include the following:

  1. Enacting a safe passing law. This law forces drivers to pass bicyclists with more than three feet of clearance.
  2. Creating a complete streets action. A complete streets action includes planning, maintaining and operating an entire right of way to provide access for all users.
  3. Having an emphasis on bicycle safety
  4. Having a recent statewide bicycle plan
  5. Using a minimum level of federal funds spent on improving conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians

However, according to Bicycling magazine, Los Angeles ranks number 1 as the worst city for cyclists, because cyclist deaths went up from 82 in 2015 to 127 in 2018. Also, another survey noted that the safe passing law is rarely enforced in LA. Still, Los Angeles spent about $91 million in 2018-2019 to improve road safety, including for cyclists and pedestrians.