Tennessee ranks as 2nd "Bike Friendliest State" in the Southeast - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee ranks as 2nd "Bike Friendliest State" in the Southeast

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Chattanooga Bicycle Club member John Meek, second from right, leads a beginners ride with Stephanie Evans, Donna Bhatnagar and Shannon Mobley, from left.  Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press Chattanooga Bicycle Club member John Meek, second from right, leads a beginners ride with Stephanie Evans, Donna Bhatnagar and Shannon Mobley, from left. Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press

NASHVILLE (WRCB) -- May is National Bike Month, and the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) ranking.

Tennessee was ranked 2nd in the southeast region, placing 17th nationally. In 2012, Tennessee's national ranking was 26th.
 
"With all the competing transportation needs we have, Tennessee is proud to be making gains in the area of bicycle friendliness," said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. "The network of bike lanes across the state is growing each and every year and we will continue to dedicate funding for important programs such as Safe Routes to School."
 
Tennessee's ranking was based of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; educational programs that promote cycling, and passage and enforcement of bicycle friendly laws that increase safety for riders of all ages.

The League of American Bicyclists commended TDOT for developing a statewide bicycle plan, and for including a bicycle safety emphasis in its Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
 
"We are making great strides in implementing bicycle features into our transportation planning and will continue to work with communities across the state on creating "complete streets" that encourage cycling and other modes of transportation," added TDOT Chief of Environment and Planning Toks Omishakin. "These efforts will help us continue to improve our bicycle friendly ranking."
 
The annual BFS rankings and awards are published and used to encourage states to improve their bike-friendliness. The states are evaluated with a comprehensive annual questionnaire that is completed by state Department of Transportation bicycle coordinators. Additionally, the program also measures the combined performance of legislators, law enforcement, and state cycling advocates and promoters. The BFS program has helped inspire pro-bike legislation and policies throughout the country.

Chattanooga has a long history of bicycle awareness as well, with programs such as Bike Chattanooga, which rents bikes in the downtown area for visitors and commuters, as well as the upcoming 2013 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships that will take place May 25-27.


Several major bicycle manuafacturers and custom builders are call our area home; such as Lynksey Performance Designs, Litespeed, Cysco Cycles and Silent Cycles.

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