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870 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am not sure how Iowa ranks 6th with the overall grade of B as being bicycle friendly with a grade of one F, one D, two C's and only two A's.

An F is certainly failing and I consider D a failing grade too. A grade of C is close to failing.

If Iowa is 6th with such bad grades how bad are the states below Iowa?

As you read the article please note who they sent it to and note that infrastructure is not part of the evaluation or grading.

No doubt the person who it was sent to in Iowa is pretty biased. I think the evaluation should have been sent to everyday cyclists and not someone who works for the state DOT. Talk about skewed results.

Link with info: Iowa climbs to 6th in Bicycle Friendly State Ranking

spin... spin.. spin
1,616 Posts
that is crazy... and how bad is the last place state and which state do you think that is?

1,556 Posts
The bottom five were...

46. New Mexico
47. West Virginia
48. Montana
49. North Dakota
50. Alabama

I'm thinking it's probably lack of infrastructure and legislation rather than running down cyclists that get them to the bottom.

1,223 Posts
So much of that sounds like politics. Most likely its a big city bureaucrat that has no idea what life is like in a rural state. They would think a place like West Virginia needs a huge expansion in public transit. Backroads do not need bike lanes. The traffic laws are already there. The state has no business in education, programs or promotion of the sport of cycling. It's not that they are likely hostile to a bike. It is that in all likely hood the bureaucrat didn't see what their view of the world should be in regards to a bike.

It's not the governments job to promote cycling. That's ours.

29 Posts
...overall grade of B...with a grade of one F, one D, two C's and...

Talk about skewed results...

...sounds like politics...

Perhaps I watch too much of the news, but it's gotten to the point I don't trust most anything they say. Everyone adds their own spin to whatever suits them. So many of these so called leaders don't have a clue. :mad:

Chances are they don't even ride a bike; much less understand anything about promoting/providing a safe cycling environment. :( :mad:

742 Posts
The Bicycle Friendly State rankings are part of the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly America program, which includes Bicycle Friendly Cities, Universities, and Businesses.

It might help to take a closer look at what the various categories mean, what kinds of questions are asked, and what goes into the state rankings. The overall ranking is not simply an average of individual category scores. The article below describes the some of the items that go into calculating the state rankings.

League of American Bicyclists * About Bicycle Friendly States


The League annually ranks all fifty states for bicycle friendliness. We do this based on a multi-faceted Bicycle Friendly State (BFS) questionnaire that is answered by each state’s Bicycle Coordinator. The data collected – based on 95 questions, across six categories – is verified by League staff in concert with advocates in each state. States that continue to promote bicycling and improve conditions can expect to improve their scores. The BFS program and rankings system work to increase the level of bicycle-friendliness in each state, therefore hopefully increasing their ranking, and to provide the incentives and assistance to states. Our BFS annual ranking measures to the best of our degree the states bicycle-friendliness but does not include everything states can and should do for bicycling. This ranking is designed to rank each state objectively and establishe best practices for others to follow. However, every state has great riding opportunities, dedicated state-agency staff, determined advocates and cyclists of all stripes working to make a great state for cycling.

A new aspect to the BFS program for 2010 is a category grade level. These grades provide more clarity on a state's strengths and weaknesses in six categories: legislation, programs and policies, infrastructure, and education and encouragement. The League provides feedback to every state's DOT, and advocates, on specific items that are shown to be successful in other states and that can work for their state. The BFS ranking process illustrates general performance needs. Traditionally, the BFS rankings show that there are fantastic efforts to emulate and there is still a lot of work to be done to increase bicycle-friendliness in states from the bottom to the top of the BFS ranked list.


Legislation: The Legislation component of the Bicycle Friendly State (BFS) ranking questionnaire covers basic laws and regulations that govern bicycling. Questions include whether cyclists can legally use the shoulder, signal turns with either hand or leave the right-hand portion of the road when their safety requires it. This section also covers motorist responsibilities like passing at a minimum of three feet and making sure traffic is clear before opening automobile doors.

Programs & Policies: The Programs & Policies component of the BFS questionnaire covers what state agency requirements are for accommodating cyclists, be it a Complete Streets policy, a plan or agreement for mountain bike trails, how much state agency staff time is dedicated to bicycling, and whether or not bicycling is included as part of the state’s carbon-reduction plan.

Infrastructure: Infrastructure is a critical element of the BFS questionnaire, and the question aim at collecting data on specific performance measurements, i.e. in the amount of facilities and spending amounts for bicycling. Other examples include the percentage of state highways with shoulders, signed bike routes, trail miles, and bicycle-related project obligation rates for available federal funding. As states improve their numbers for many of the BFS questions, the bar will continue to rise for states in regards to bicycle-friendliness.

Education and Encouragement: In the Education and Encouragement portion of the BFS questionnaire, the section covers the amount of bicycling education in the state for adults and youth alike, as well as for motorists. A few ways that states can educate drivers on the road about cycling, for example, are Share the Road campaigns and questions concerning cyclists’ rights in state drivers’ exams. States can encourage more and better bicycling by promoting bicycling tourism, producing bike maps and collaborating with state and local advocacy groups, along with education efforts.

The Evaluation & Planning: The Evaluation & Planning section of the BFS questionnaire surveys how bicycling is incorporated into each state’s yearly planning. Questions include how bicycling is included in the highway safety plan, outdoor recreation plan or a bicycle transportation plan. This section also measures results of the state’s crash and bike commuting rates.

Enforcement: The Enforcement section the BFS questionnaire gathers data on the types of training law enforcement officers and traffic court judges receive to ensure protection of cyclists’ rights to the road and safe travel on our shared roadways.

The BFC National Advisory Group provides guidance on BFS program development and priorities. Members include:

Tim Blumenthal, Bikes Belong Coalition
Natalie Cappuccio-Britt, Palmetto Conservation Foundation
Ariadne Delon Scott, Stanford University
Tom Huber, Wisconsin DOT
Rob Sadowsky, Bicycle Transportation Alliance
Jeff Olson, Alta Planning+Design
Robert Ping, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
Tim Potter, Michigan State University
Jim Sebastian, DC Office of Transportation Planning
Sarah Strunk, Active Living By Design
Jennifer Toole, Toole Design Group
Zoe Kircos, Bikes Belong Coalition
Alan Turnbull, National Park Service
Dru van Hengel, City of Santa Barbara
Jill Van Winkle, International Mountain Bike Association
Robbie Webber, Bike Walk Madison
Charlie Zegeer, Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center​
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