Arizona ranked 10th best state for bicycle friendliness - East Valley Tribune: Public Safety

Arizona ranked 10th best state for bicycle friendliness

Nine bike-friendly communities named, including Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert

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Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 1:37 pm | Updated: 6:17 pm, Fri May 31, 2013.

The League of American Bicyclists has ranked Arizona 10th out of the 50 states for bike friendliness in 2013, a jump from its position of 14th in 2012.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the jump in the ranks may have been due in part to ADOT’s Bicycle Safety Action Plan.

“One of our most notable accomplishments this past year was the completion of a Bicycle Safety Action Plan to improve bicyclist safety on Arizona’s highways,” said Michael Sanders, ADOT’s bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator in a statement. “The goal is to reduce the number of bicyclist fatalities and injury crashes with motor vehicles. We ‘crash-typed’ nearly 750 reported crashes that occurred over a five-year period to better define the sequence of events leading to the collisions. For example, we found that more than half of all crashes occurred while a motorist was making a right turn. ADOT’s new plan consists of action items addressing potential changes to policies and education programs, along with new tools to improve bicyclist safety.”

Another reason the state placed 10th is a growing number of people who commute by bicycle and Arizona’s reputation as a destination for bike tours.

The League of American Bicyclists named nine bicycle-friendly communities in Arizona including Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tucson and the Eastern Pima County Region, Sedona, Cottonwood and Flagstaff. Phoenix did not make the list.

The League of American Bicyclists is a national organization that promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. The league represents the interests of 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. The league considers plans and programs in place to keep riders safe and encourage bicycle riding when ranking the states.

The rankings, and the application process to receive a ranking, are meant to educate communities about ways they can become more bike-friendly. The state with the No. 1 ranking for bike friendliness was Washington, followed by Colorado.

For more information about the league and the 2013 ranking of bicycle friendly states, go to www.bikeleague.org.

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