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Davis, California

Thursday, June 13, 2024

People for Bikes ranks Davis No. 1 city in California for bikeability

The city of Davis was also ranked No. 7 nationally based on several factors


By ALMA CULVERWELL city@theaggie.org 


People for Bikes, a cycling coalition founded in 1999, recently ranked the city of Davis as No. 1 in the Pacific Region, No. 1 in California and No. 7 in the US for bikeability, with an overall network score of 77. The city of Davis was previously given a network score of 27 in 2022. 

The city rankings are based on several criteria, including speeds, protected bike lanes, reallocated space, intersection treatments, network connections and trusted data.

Rebecca Davies, city ratings program director for People for Bikes, described how the city rankings were decided. 

“Our City Ratings is based on an analysis of data from OpenStreetMap, which is an open map of the world, like Wikipedia but in map form,” Davies said via email. “We analyze every road or path in the city to determine if it is good for bicycling based on factors like the speed limit, dedicated bike infrastructure, and safe intersections. Then we assess whether someone could travel from where they live to nearby destinations using only streets or paths that are good for bicycling. That calculation is repeated over and over across the city to create an aggregate score on a scale of zero to 100 for the entire city.” 

People for Bikes originally started their city rankings in 2018, where the city of Davis got an overall score of 72. Davies talked about the thought process behind the implementation of releasing the city rankings.

“We needed a way to measure whether cities were making progress towards building safer streets that enable people to bike safely and comfortably from where they live to where they need to go,” Davies said in the email. “Before the City Ratings, we only had anecdotal evidence of progress, so we didn’t really know which cities were succeeding and which remained stagnant. Now we can identify cities that have progressed the most, cities that are moving fastest, and cities that lag behind, then use that information to advocate for more investments in safe bike infrastructure.” 

Davies explained that the city rankings measure the level of safe bike infrastructure and encouraged the city of Davis to improve its bike network. 

 “Davis is an expensive place to live. Very few people will ride a bike more than three or four miles in one trip, so they need to be able to afford to live close to the places they want to go, which means Davis and other cities need to build a lot more dense housing in walkable, bikeable communities,” Davis said in the email. “Additionally, investments in bike parking, bike share and e-bike charging all help accelerate bicycling.” 


Written By: Alma Culverwell city@theaggie.org 


  1. Condition of pavement, attitude of drivers and riders, and theft rates should be included. None of these factors would help Davis’s score.


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