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Minnesota ranks second in nation for bicycle-friendly states

In celebration of National Bike Month in May, the League of American Bicyclists announced that Minnesota ranks as the second most bicycle-friendly state in the nation. Minnesota has consistently ranked in the top five since 2008.

“This ranking is recognition of the work on behalf of bicycling being done by both the public and private sectors throughout the state,” said Dorian Grilley, executive director, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

Nearly half of Minnesotans rode a bicycle last year, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) 2012 Omnibus Transportation Survey.

The ranking is based on indicators including infrastructure and funding that provide safe places to bike, education and encouragement programs that promote cycling, and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make riding safe and comfortable.

Washington remains the top-ranked state for the seventh year in a row, followed by Minnesota, Wisconsin, Delaware and Oregon.

Several state agencies, including the departments of Health, Natural Resources, Transportation and Tourism, invest in bicycling as an important component of Minnesota’s transportation system.

MnDOT is asking for the public’s input into developing a statewide bicycle system plan. Feedback will help MnDOT identify and recommend routes, improve existing facilities in the bike system and more effectively address the needs of bicycle riders in the state.

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Minnesota received its ranking for reasons including:

● Partnerships among state agencies and local/state advocacy groups that encourage commuter and recreational bicycle use and lead Safe Routes to School.

● Recognition as the Best Trails State in the nation in 2012.

● Nice Ride Minnesota, a national bicycle sharing system, expanded into St. Paul in 2012.

● The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, MnDOT and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota published WALK! BIKE! FUN! for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade.

● The state has high rates of bicycle commuting and recreational use.

● The nationally recognized bicycle safety education campaign “Share the Road” helps improve awareness of bicycle laws for both motorists and bicyclists.