For its Global Bicycle Cities Index 2022, the digital insurance business Luko examined 90 cities from around the world to identify those with the best bicycle infrastructure.
They chose a number of well-known cycling cities from around the world as well as several lesser-known places that were enhancing their bicycle infrastructure. Then, they evaluated each area based on a number of criteria to determine whether a city is conducive to cycling.
They started by examining the percentage of cyclists, which is a great indicator of the state of cycling in general, as well as prerequisites like safety, crime involving cyclists, and road infrastructure. The number of bicycles stolen, cycling fatalities and accidents, the length of dedicated cycling roads, road quality investments, and other factors were all studied.
Next, in order to create a generalized picture of the climate in each city, they calculated the average hours of sunshine, millimeters of rainfall, and the frequency of extreme weather days. This is because weather conditions have a significant impact on many recreational riders.
They looked at the number of shared bicycles as well as the number of sharing and rental stations in each city in order to incorporate information regarding the increase in bike-sharing because the sharing economy is a billion-dollar industry.
Finally, they took into account the popularity of unique cycling-related events like No Car Day and Critical Mass to decide which locations go above and beyond for cyclists and their community. The best cycling cities were then determined by ranking each factor.
For their readiness to contribute to and work on projects to enhance bicycle infrastructure and safety, 90 cities were chosen. The study assesses the cycling climate for these 90 locations based on criteria relevant to bike users rather than ranking the best and worst places for riding. The final rankings are given on a scale from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating a better city.
The study focuses on six main categories with the following factors that make a city cycling friendly:
2. Percentage of Bicycle Usage.
3. Crime & Safety: Fatalities / 100,000 Cyclists, Accidents / 100,000 Cyclists, Bicycle Theft Score.
4. Infrastructure: Number of Bicycle Shops / 100,000 Cyclists, Specialised Roads & Road Quality Score, Investment & Infrastructure Quality Score.
5. Sharing: Number of Bicycle Sharing & Rental Stations / 100,000 Score,
6. Events: No Car Day, Critical Mass Score.
For example, the Weather Score was produced by assessing and averaging the Hours of Sunshine, Rainfall, and Extreme Weather Days of each city. A weighted average was then utilized to obtain the final ratings for each category.
According to the Global Bicycle Cities Index 2022, Utrecht, Netherlands, is the world's bicycle-friendliest city. Eight additional European cities, including Hangzhou (China), are included in the top 10, joining Utrecht as the lone non-European city.
In the end, no American cities were included in the top 10 lists, with San Francisco being the highest-ranked American city at position 39. Ranks 41 and 50, respectively, in the top 50 are Portland and Seattle. Many of their European counterparts, where cycling for daily transit is more deeply embedded in the culture, are known for being more bike-friendly than U.S. metropolises.
Source: Luko Global Bicycle City Index 2022, WeForum.org