Minneapolis has dethroned Portland, Ore., as the bike-friendliest city in the country.
The new issue of Bicycling magazine, published Tuesday, ranks Minneapolis ahead of 49 other large and medium-size cities in accessibility to bicyclists. Portland has long ranked first, both in the magazine's rankings and other surveys.
In its assessment of Minneapolis, the magazine pointed to the fact that the city has nearly doubled its percentage of bike commuters in just three years and its pledge to install new bike racks and start an innovative bike-share program. Other criteria include the number of bike lanes, municipal bike racks, bike boulevards, government interest in cycling improvements and local bike culture.
"Despite the cold wintertime climate, Minneapolis has a thriving bike community. It has 120 miles of on- and off-street bicycle facilities, plus indoor bike parking and other cycling-friendly facilities."
Not surprisingly, other high-ranking cities include such granola-eating communities as Seattle, Boulder and Eugene. Madison, Wis., ranked seventh. The only other Upper Midwest cities that made the cut were Sioux Falls, at 31st, and Fargo, which ranked 46th.
BOB VON STERNBERG (PHOTO BY JIM GEHRZ)