[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="446" caption="(Photo used with permission from Charlie Clay)"][/caption]
Bicycling Magazine just released its list of America's most bike-friendly cities, something the magazine's been doing since 1995. Seattle came in at number four behind Minneapolis, Portland, and Boulder. The magazine cites Seattle's Bike Master Plan as one of the main reasons for our high ranking on the list.
The $240 million plan would, in theory, triple the number of trips made by bike and add 450 miles of bike paths, trails, and sharrows around Seattle. Unfortunately, the plan is currently underfunded by nearly $165 million, or almost 70%. Unless that shortfall is remedied, the city won't meet its goals.
This isn't to say that Seattle doesn't deserve its spot in the upper echelon of bike-friendly cities. But being good compared to Jacksonville, Florida (one of the worst in America, according to the magazine) is not the same as being as good as we can be.
Perhaps more important than highlighting our city's (potential) greatness, the list gives Seattleites the chance to revel in Portland's fall from grace. Those smug, cargo-bike riding, bike-parade-loving Portlanders have topped Bicycling's list since 1995. This year, Minneapolis edged out the perennial favorite because of its heavily improved cycling infrastructure, indoor bike parking, and thriving bike community.