Thanks to the growth of bike-sharing programs, bicycling as a regular means of transportation has become so common in cosmopolitan cities such as New York, Paris and Washington, D.C., that it’s not unusual to see men and women in full business attire – suits, ties, skirts, heels – pedaling their way to or from work. And since bicycling is a great form of exercise as well as a handy way to get around, adults of all ages are choosing to bicycle even when driving or public transportation is an option.
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A rating of 90 to 100 is defined as being a “Biker’s Paradise” where daily errands can be done by bicycle. (Alas, since no cities score within that range, paradise remains elusive.) The next category, “Very Bikeable,” means biking is convenient for most trips. Among the top 10 most bikeable large cities in the U.S., only two – Portland, Ore., and San Francisco – fall into that 70 to 89 category. (Check out Portland’s bicycling program for older adults.) The other top cities on the list fall into the “Bikeable” category (i.e., “some bike infrastructure”) with scores between 50 and 69.
1. Portland, Ore. (70.3)
2. San Francisco (70)
3. Denver (69.5)
4. Philadelphia (68.4)
5. Boston (67.8)
6. Washington, D.C. (65.3)
7. Seattle (64.1)
8. Tuscon, Ariz. (64.1)
9. New York (62.3)
10. Chicago (61.5)
Worth noting: Portland, Washington, New York and Philadelphia are also members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.
For more about bike-friendly places, programs and policies see:
- Policy and planning strategies to support bicycling in America
- Bicycle Friendly America Awards
- 10 success stories from cities that invest in bicycling
- Cargo bikes in Copenhagen
Melissa Stanton is a project manager on the AARP Livable Communities Team and editor of AARP.org/livable.
Learn more about age-friendly communities at AARP.org/livable
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