For a city whose symbol is the bike, it is not too much of a surprise when Davis is named the most bike-friendly small town in America.
Just weeks before the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame Museum’s grand opening, Bicycling Magazine dubbed Davis the top bike-friendly city with a population under 100,000.
Formerly in New Jersey, officials decided to move the museum to Davis after a long application process.
The Third and B Street location for the museum replaces the former teen center and will open to the public on Apr. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The magazine said bike lanes cover 95 percent of arterial roadways, and 14 percent of residents commute by bike (35 times the national average). Davis has two full-time bike coordinators, an annual budget of about $100,000 for bike-facility maintenance and hosts a month-long bike celebration every May.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame (USBHOF) and the California Bicycle Museum merged into one unified board, the USBHOF.
Dan Kehew, former president of the California Bicycle Museum and current board member of the USBHOF the consolidation was done for management purposes, to deal with issues more easily.
Kehew also said Davis’ ranking in the magazine will help encourage tourism in Davis.
“People do pay attention to these titles, more so outside than inside Davis,” Kehew said. “People have a fascination with biking. People look at bike havens of Europe and this helps establish Davis as one of the bike towns people want to visit.”
Former president of the Hall of Fame and current board member of the new USBHOF, Bill Brunner, said the ranking will help raise awareness about the museum.
“This title expands upon Davis’ distinction as a destination for people interested in cycling,” Brunner said. “This really furthers our goals as an organization.”
The League of American Bicyclists presents its own rankings of bike towns that apply. There are only four cities, including Davis, that have received the platinum rating.
Meghan Cahill, communication director for the League of American Bicyclists, was not surprised by the selection of Davis as a bike-friendly town.
“The magazine takes into consideration our community rankings,” Cahill said. “Davis certainly has good bicycling engineering, education, enforcement and other criteria met.”
Corvallis, Oregon, another college town and home to Oregon State University, placed number two on the magazine’s list with residents taking a larger percentage of trips by bike than any other Oregon city. Ninety-seven percent of arterial streets have bike lanes. Mandatory bike education programs and covered bike parking at elementary schools encourage kids to start riding. Bellingham, WA, Missoula, MT and Burlington, VT all followed on the list.
Amsterdam, Holland topped the magazine’s list of international bike-friendly cities, where locals ride bikes for more than half of all trips in the city center. More than 300 miles of bike lanes, paths, tunnels and bridges live harmoniously among motor vehicles. Copenhagen, Denmark ranked second, with Bogota, Columbia, Barcelona, Spain and Berlin, Germany following.
ANGELA SWARTZ can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.