Regular readers know that I don’t usually give any attention to the myriad lists of bike-friendly cities that are published each year. However, I’ve just stumbled on a new one that I think merits attention.
Copenhagenize, the influential consulting company and blog with outspoken advocate Mikael Colville-Andersen as its CEO, has published their first-ever Copenhagenize Index of the world’s top bike friendly cities.
Portland ranks a respectable 11th on the list and is the highest ranked city in the United States with 36 points. The top three cities were Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Barcelona.
Creators of the list acknowledge that size-wise, Portland is small potatoes when compared with the other cities. Here’s what they had to say about us:
“The smallest city to make the Top 20 list is Portland. We are aware that it doesn’t technically fit into the major cities category, but we were curious to see how the USA’s top cycling city would fare… Besides, we’ll never hear the end of it from Portlanders if we leave them out…
Investment in solid infrastructure, a broad social acceptance and good political leadership have paid off.”
The folks at Copenhagenize also had some suggested “fixes” for Portland:
For all the legendary infrastructure, and willingness to experiment, it still boggles our minds why the gender split is suffering. It’s a warning signal Portland should take seriously. Tapping into the reservoir of potential citizen cyclists who don’t want to ride with all that gear, or be a part of the various sub-cultures in the city, should be a major priority. And for God’s sake, start riding in the rain.
(If you’re curious, PBOT’s 2010 bicycle counts showed that females make up 31 percent of riders citywide.)
The cities were scored with points based on how well they performed in 13 different categories. They included strength of local advocacy groups, what type of “bicycle culture” is present, whether or not a city has a bike share program, the mode and gender splits, increase in ridership since 2006, the political atmosphere, and more.
Check out the full list at Copenhagenize.eu.