Bike League Ranks Massachusetts As ‘Most Bicycle-Friendly State’

Bike traffic on the Massachusetts Avenue bridge heading towards Cambridge on the evening of August 4, 2021.Bike traffic on the Massachusetts Avenue bridge heading towards Cambridge on the evening of August 4, 2021.
Bike traffic on the Massachusetts Avenue bridge heading towards Cambridge on the evening of August 4, 2021.

League of American Bicyclists has ranked Massachusetts number 1 in the country in the organization’s 2022 Bicycle Friendly State Report Card.

Massachusetts replaces Washington, which had occupied the top position on the scorecard since 2008, as the nation’s most bicycle-friendly state.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker took the opportunity to brag about the rankings in a press release issued on Tuesday afternoon, and promised that his administration “will continue to work with our partners at the local level to build upon this important progress.”

“We are pleased the League has recognized how far Massachusetts has come since 2015 with creating bicycle infrastructure, increasing funding for capital projects, educating the public about bicycling and integrating multimodal policies and approaches with the work we do at MassDOT,” added MassDOT Secretary Jamey Tesler.

The League’s scorecard gives Massachusetts “A” grades in four of five categories (“infrastructure and funding,” “education and encouragement,” “policies and programs,” and “evaluation and planning”).

In the past decade, Massachusetts has implemented a statewide complete streets funding program, established new requirements for bike and pedestrian infrastructure in its engineering criteria for roadway projects, rolled out the new MassTrails program to facilitate the design and construction of new off-street pathways, and, since the pandemic, established a new Shared Streets and Spaces grant program to fund quick-build street safety projects.

However, the Commonwealth scored a lowly “D” in a fifth category for “traffic laws and practices.” The League’s rankings in that category looked at whether states have enacted various laws to protect bicyclist and pedestrian safety.

Massachusetts failed on most of those criteria, including whether a state uses automated enforcement cameras, whether a motorist is required to pass a bicyclist with at least three feet of distance, and whether a state maintains a public database of statistics to identify racial bias in traffic stops by police.

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