Walk Score, a group that has earned widespread respect for its walkability rankings of cities and individual addresses across America, have launched Bike Score. The folks at Bike Score have released a ranking of 10 major U.S. cities and Portland came in second behind Minneapolis.
Bike Score calculates the bikeability of a location on a 0-100 point ranking based on a mix of factors including availability of bike lanes, trails, and other types of bike-friendly infrastructure, as well as “hilliness of the area,” connectivity, and the number of people who bike. To get the city ranking, they plug in the Bike Score algorithm block-by-block and weigh the scores with population density. Learn more about the methodology here.
Portland’s Bike Score is a 70, which is 9 points behind Minneapolis and is tied with San Francisco. I haven’t seen the underlying numbers, but my hunch is that Minneapolis scored very high on the bike infrastructure components. They have many more miles of dedicated paths and rail-trails than Portland does. The presence of hills in Portland might have also dragged down our ranking.
UPDATE: Matt Lerner, a former Portland resident who works with Bike Score, says, “The key factor for Minneapolis is their amazing network of dedicated paths (which we weight as 2X the value of an on-street lane or bike friendly street).”
For each city, Bike Score has also produced a Google Map with various layers including the score, presence of bike lanes, hills, and so on.
At this point, Bike Score is only available for the ten cities above. If you want your city ranked, you can vote here.