When people think of transportation in California, particularly near Los Angeles, they think of automobiles. In fact, our city and most of our state are known for their car-dependency.
Things are slowly changing. The League of American Bicyclists ranked California the 8th in their 2015 Bicycle Friendly State rankings. Our state ranked 9th in 2014 and 19th in 2013.
Evaluation and ranking by The League were based on comprehensive survey results from each state’s transportation department. Scores are awarded for five different categories a point range of 1-5. California obtained good scores in each area:
- Legislation & Enforcement – 4
- Policies & Programs – 4
- Infrastructure & Funding – 3
- Education & Encouragement – 4
- Evaluation & Planning – 4
The ranking report also has a “Top 10 Signs of Success” section, which includes whether they have dedicated state funding, an active bicycle advocacy group, a Share the Road campaign, and an emphasis on bicycle safety in the state’s highway safety plan.
The League not only provides a scorecard for each state but also offers valuable feedback and suggestions for future action. Several suggestions have to do with cyclist safety including improving data collection techniques for bicycle crash injuries and fatalities as well as adopting a vulnerable road user law that penalizes drivers that injure or kill bicyclists or pedestrians in an accident.
Data from the Bicycle Friendly State survey is also used by the Alliance for Biking and Walking in their Benchmarking Report. This report provides more in-depth data for each evaluation criteria.