Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are the best states for cycling in the United States. Alabama, Montana, and Kentucky are the worst. States like Florida and New York fall somewhere in the middle.
That’s according to The League of American Bicyclists, which every year ranks states on their friendliness to cycling. Washington keeps its No. 1 status from last year, with Wisconsin moving up five places. Montana has dropped 10 places to 49th. Meanwhile, California and Ohio are the most improved from 2013. The latter state is up 16 places, from 32nd to 16th.
The League scores states across five categories, from “legislation & enforcement” to “policies & programs.” Legislation covers things like whether states have penalties for killing cyclists (many don’t), or whether they’ve made texting while driving illegal. Policies include whether cyclists have access to tunnels and bridges, and whether states install “rumble strips” alerting drivers when they stray out of lane.
Check out the graphics here for how each state compares. Dark blue indicates highest compliance (80%-100%) to the League criteria. Grey indicates lowest (0%-20%). Generally, there’s more blue in the policies and education columns and more grey in the infrastructure column. That shows how many states talk a better game than providing it with hard cash for road improvements.
In addition to the ranking, the League also produces a “report card” for each state, with suggestions for improvements. Washington is showing nine out of 10 “signs for success” according to its card. Montana only has four.