The PlacesForBikes City Ratings are a data-driven analysis that evaluates the safety, appeal, and infrastructure of bicycling in more than 500 communities. Rankings are designed to show cities where they stand — and provide insight into where infrastructure investments should be made to build complete, connected bike networks.
The 2019 PlacesForBikes City Ratings scored 510 U.S. cities based on five areas:
- Ridership – How many people ride bikes?
- Safety – How safe is it to ride bikes?
- Network – How easy is it for people to get where they need to go?
- Acceleration – How fast is the bike network expanding?
- Reach – How well does the network serve all neighborhoods in the community?
Lawrence performed best in the safety and acceleration categories, with scores of 3.9 and 3.8, respectively. The city scorecard specifically noted high scores for growth in bike facilities and events as well as for a low number of bicycle-related fatalities and injuries. All individual scores combined to result in a comprehensive score of 3.3, which earned Lawrence its ranking of sixth overall.
“We’re excited that Lawrence was recognized as one of the best places in the country for bikes,” shared Jessica Mortinger, transportation planning manager, Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization. “The top ranking recognizes the work that our team – and a variety of organizations throughout Lawrence – has put in to make our city bicycle-friendly. We look forward to continuing those efforts and providing even greater bike-riding opportunities in the future.”
Data for the ratings comes from existing sources (including the U.S. Census American Community Survey and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System), as well as new sources developed by the PeopleForBikes team to capture city-specific data based on mapping, city planning information and survey responses from community members. From these sources, 184 calculations are performed per city to determine individual category scores, as well as a city or town’s overall score. Read more about the methodology here.
“We focused this year’s efforts on engaging more cities to improve accuracy of ratings,” said Jennifer Boldry, PeopleForBikes director of research. “Better accuracy provides a more valuable tool that helps cities benchmark, set goals and measure progress.”
Lawrence will be able to utilize the additional insights from the PeopleForBikes report to continue improving the city’s bicycle infrastructure. The scorecard outlines different ways Lawrence can improve the score for next year, including launching/expanding public bike share and partnering with community groups for outreach to assess transportation and recreation needs.
City Ratings is a key component of the PlacesForBikes program, which provides measurement tools, guidance, peer networking, and storytelling to help U.S. cities plan, build and promote great places to ride. PlacesForBikes is supported by a generous grant from Trek Bicycle Corporation, as well as contributions from other bike businesses, foundations and individuals.
For complete results and additional program details, please visit cityratings.peopleforbikes.org.