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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bicycle Friendly State Rankings

Tennessee holds in middle of the pack in the 2012 League of American Bicyclists ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. (Click here) . In 2010 Tennessee rose 19 points from 43'rd to 24'th.  In 2011 it dropped three positions to 27'th, but received a Bronze Award recognizing efforts by TDOT and advocates.  This year the state rose one position to 26'th. The LAB's Top Tip for Improvement is "Include Bicycle Safety in Tennessee Strategic Highway Safety Plan."

Other opportunities for improvement are:
- Develop a comprehensive strategy for working with law enforcement on bicycling issues. A good strategy should include training for officers, targeted enforcement of bike safety laws, and diversion programs all consistently applied across the state.
- Develop a Complete Streets implementation strategy including training for engineers and planners and an implementation checklist.
- Adopt federal funding project rating criteria that incentivize (sic) bicycle projects and accommodations. The majority of the state’s spending is focused on a handful of sources (e.g. TE) but neglects others (e.g. CMAQ, HSIP).
- Bicycle ridership must increase as it is below the national average. Determine barriers that people face when bicycling and implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce barriers and increase ridership.
- Establish a statewide bicycle advisory committee to provide accountability for bicycle projects and programs. The BAC should include diverse representation, formal inclusion in decision making, a workplan, and regularly held meetings (at least quarterly).

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