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Report ranks Washington as best state in nation for cyclists

(AP)

A new report ranking the most bicycle-friendly states in the United States has Washington ranked at the top spot.

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The ranking comes courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists. The League had Washington at the top of its yearly list every year between 2008 and 2017, before taking a year off from ranking states in 2018 for a different approach to its report.

In its return to ranking all 50 states, Washington’s friendliness to cyclists came out ahead yet again, followed by Oregon, Minnesota, and California.

The LAB cited a handful of factors in its decision, giving Washington an “A” grade for its policies and programs related to cycling, a B+ for “evaluation and planning,” B’s for both “education and encouragement ” and “legislation and enforcement,” and a B- for “infrastructure and funding.”

It credits Washington for its plan to address safety for cyclists across the state.

“As a long-time leader in bicycling and walking, it is exciting to see the Washington State DOT working on a new statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan,” the report reads. “The plan should reflect the long record of leadership for the state and provide a roadmap toward more complete networks, staffing and budget levels, and the development of any tools necessary to accomplish statewide improvements in bicycling and walking.”

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Federal data compiled in the report has Washington ranked 9th in the nation in bike commuters at 0.9 percent, 11th in safety, and 29th in spending on biking and walking.

This comes on the heels of census data that showed a 1.1 increase in Seattle commuters who biked to work in 2018, while seeing the largest drop in commuters driving alone out of the 100 largest cities in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Seattle is experiencing the biggest drop in car ownership nationwide — 88.1 percent of the city’s households owner a vehicle in 2018, a 3 percent dip from 2010.

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