Minneapolis named most bikeable city... in part because it's so damn flat here

Categories: Bicycle, Lists
minneapolis_bikes wired.jpg
BMX bikers might like some more hills, but commuters surely appreciate Mpls' flatness.
Sure, Minneapolis has great bike trails, a dedicated cadre of cycling commuters and all that jazz... but it may be our city's Midwestern flatness that puts us over the top as the nation's top biking destination.

You see, Walk Score rated Minneapolis as the most bikeable city in America using an algorithm that includes "Hills" as one of its five factors. And, of course, Minneapolis is about as flat as Miley Cyrus' stomach.

With an overall bikeability score of 79, Minneapolis emerged as by far and away the most bikeable city. The nine-point gap between Minneapolis and second-place Portland is larger than the eight-point gap between Portland and 10th-place Chicago.

Here's how Walk Score came up with the Bike Score:
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Bike Score provides a 0-100 rating of the bikeability of a location based on the availability of bike infrastructure (lanes and trails), the hilliness of the area, amenities and road connectivity, and the number of bike commuters. The Bike Score for a city is then calculated by applying the Bike Score algorithm block-by-block throughout the city and weighting the scores by population density. Cities with scores of 70 or higher are considered to be very bikeable, cities with scores between 50 and 69 are bikeable, and cities with scores below 50 are somewhat bikeable.
And here's the full top-ten list:

1. Minneapolis (Bike Score: 79)
2. Portland (Bike Score: 70)
3. San Francisco (Bike Score: 70)
4. Boston (Bike Score: 68)
5. Madison (Bike Score: 67)
6. Washington, D.C. (Bike Score: 65)
7. Seattle (Bike Score: 64)
8. Tucson (Bike Score: 64)
9. New York (Bike Score: 62)
10. Chicago (Bike Score: 62)

It's been said that Minneapolis has a crush on Portland. It appears Portland bikers -- at least those apt to biking in the apparently Himalaya-esque western part of the city -- should be crushing on the City of Lakes' lack of hills.

To read more recent Minneapolis-loves-bikes coverage, check out:
-- Minneapolis 5th best cycling city, according to Shermans Travel study
-- Minneapolis drops to number four bike commuting city
-- Minneapolis wins lone gold from League of American Bicyclists

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Technically, we are only really "bikeable" about 8 months out of the year. Apparently, climate isn't one of the criteria. 


It's worth noting that those ten cities are the only ones they calculated Bike Scores for.  They seem to have picked them based on reputation for bikability, which says something, but technically Mpls was #1 of 10 cities not #1 in America. 


I'm assuming the ratings are for the cities proper, not the metro areas. It would be interesting to see how St. Paul stacks up. It doesn't have quite as much bike infrastructure that Minneapolis does, and St. Paul does have quite a few hills, but it is still a fairly bikeable place.


Haven't you heard of the infamous Minneapolis Bike Trials? Just kidding. Typo is fixed, thanks.

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