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In honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) ranking. In the sixth annual assessment, Tennessee ranked 2nd in the southeast region, while placing 17th nationally. Tennessee has improved its national ranking from 26th in 2012.
“With all the competing transportation needs we have, Tennessee is proud to be making gains in the area of bicycle friendliness,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. “The network of bike lanes across the state is growing each and every year and we will continue to dedicate funding for important programs such as Safe Routes to School.”
Tennessee’s ranking was based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; educational programs that promote cycling, and passage and enforcement of bicycle friendly laws that increase safety for riders of all ages. The League of American Bicyclists commended TDOT for developing a statewide bicycle plan, and for including a bicycle safety emphasis in its Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
“We are making great strides in implementing bicycle features into our transportation planning and will continue to work with communities across the state on creating “complete streets” that encourage cycling and other modes of transportation,” added TDOT Chief of Environment and Planning Toks Omishakin. “These efforts will help us continue to improve our bicycle friendly ranking.”
The annual BFS rankings and awards are published and used to encourage states to improve their bike-friendliness. The states are evaluated with a comprehensive annual questionnaire that is completed by state Department of Transportation bicycle coordinators. Additionally, the program also measures the combined performance of legislators, law enforcement, and state cycling advocates and promoters. The BFS program has helped inspire pro-bike legislation and policies throughout the country.
For more information on TDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, please visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/bikeped/.
To view the 2013 BFS Rankings list and a breakdown of how the states fared in each evaluation category, visit http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/bicyclefriendlystate/report_cards.php.