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Best Bike-Friendly Cities in North America – 2016 Edition

More and more people are giving up their cars and riding their bikes to and from work and for good reason! Cycling saves the expense of owning a car and provides great exercise. Increasingly, America’s largest cities are making it safer and easier for bicyclists to get around, even in some of the busiest downtown areas.

Two of the biggest names in the real estate industry, Zillow and Redfin, recently came out with their lists of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the U.S. They used different criteria.

Zillow looked at:

  • The percentage of people who ride their bikes to work
  • How long it takes commuters to bike to work
  • The number of miles of road that have protected bike lanes
  • The number of rental listings that mention bicycle storage space

Redfin looked specifically at downtown areas of cities with at least 500,000 people. Their criteria included:

  • The number of bike lanes
  • Road connectivity
  • The percentage of people who bike to work
  • The number of hills

The most bike-friendly cities may be a surprise because they are among the country’s largest. However, as traffic congestion worsens, the price of insurance rises and the number of affordable parking spots decreases, many cities are developing plans to make biking to work a safe, enjoyable alternative for their residents. More bicyclists mean fewer vehicles on the roads, better air quality, and more livable cities.

Chicago, Illinois                                          

Redfin noted the city’s 200 miles of protected bike lanes and its thousands of bike racks. For those in the city’s many outlying suburbs to commute into downtown, there are sheltered areas to park your bike at the city’s train and bus stations, so you can shield your bike from the elements during the city’s brutal winters and commute the rest of the way into the city. Interior bike storage is also an important factor for renters and home buyers.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The City of Brotherly Love topped Redfin’s list and came in ninth on Zillow’s. Bikes are becoming an increasingly popular means of getting to work. The city has some 440 miles of bike lanes with even more being added downtown. The city is also working to make it easier for people who live in some of the city’s more underserved areas to bike into the City Center and other downtown areas. One real estate agent notes that bike storage is becoming an increasingly important amenity for those looking for a home in and around Philadelphia.

Portland, Oregon

Both companies named Portland as one of the most bike-friendly cities. It’s becoming increasingly more congested for drivers, so more people are choosing to commute to work. Thanks to a Bicycle Master Plan adopted 20 years ago, Portland has designated bike paths, bike boulevards, and plenty of bike racks. A plan in the works for 2030 includes even more improvements for bicyclists, so we expect Portland to continue to rank on best-of lists into the future.

Washington, D.C.

Anyone who’s lived and/or worked in D.C. knows the snarling traffic and exorbitant parking rates that come with owning a car in the nation’s capital. Thankfully, the city has increased the number of dedicated bike lanes and made it easier for people who work downtown to get to their jobs quickly and safely. The median bicycle commute time (according to Zillow) is just 22 minutes.

The other cities that made either the Redfin or Zillow list are:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Long Beach, California
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • New York, New York
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Tucson, Arizona

No matter what city you live in, securing your bike is essential. Bicycle thefts are on the rise nationwide and while there are more resources available to bike owners than ever before, staying vigilant is key to securing your property. Whether you leave it at a train or bus station or at your workplace during the day, you want to know that it’s safe and will be waiting for you when you need it. The same is true if you have to secure your bike in a common area or outside while you’re at home. Titanium bike locks are popular because they are strong enough to deter even the most determined thief, but lightweight enough to carry even on long commutes – the perfect compromise for any cyclist. Find out more by visiting our store page or contacting TiGr Lock today!

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