MONTPELIER, Vt. — A new set of national rankings finds New England to be a relatively bike-friendly region, with five of the region’s six states scoring in the top half among states nationwide.
The League of American Bicyclists ranked Massachusetts third, behind Washington state and Minnesota, based on factors like enforcement of bike safety laws, infrastructure, public education and encouragement for cycling.
Maine ranked ninth, Vermont 18th, Connecticut was 20th and New Hampshire came in 22nd. Rhode Island was last in the region, ranking 39th nationally.
According the league, “the Bicycle Friendly America program provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling, and ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness.”
Some suggestions for Maine included the following:
Develop a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) curriculum for bicycling enforcement both for new officers and continuing education – focus on laws related to bicyclists, interactions between motorists and bicyclists, and bicycle collision investigation.
Adopt a statewide Complete Streets policy. The National Complete Streets Coalition has a model state policy and a variety of other resources to ensure adoption and implementation.
Adopt a statewide bicycle plan that addresses each of the five “Es” — engineering, enforcement, encouragement, education, evaluation — has clear implementation actions, and performance metrics to gauge success.