The Evergreen State is famous for many things: Mt. Rainier, Glacier Peak, and the metropolitan area of Seattle, just to name a few. And now, one more claim to fame can be added to the list for Washington State; Washington has been called the most bicycle-friendly state in the U.S. for the eighth year in a row.
Why Washington Makes the Top of the List
Washington’s name on the top of the list isn’t just luck. Instead, the state has had to work hard to implement and enforce bike safety initiatives statewide.
- Dedicated funding to bicycle infrastructure and programs, including the introduction of new bikes lanes to the state; awareness campaigns
- Strict penalties for drivers who impede cyclists’ safety
- State-sponsored bicycle safety campaigns
Additionally, two of Seattle’s bike lanes were chosen as part of the top 10 new bike lanes of 2014. Our state doesn’t enforce a three-feet or greater passing law, however. If you were clipped by a passing car while riding in a bike lane, call Max Meyers now for representation.
Top 10 Signs of a State’s Bicycle-Friendliness
The League of American Bicyclists has compiled a list of the top 10 signs of success for a state to be truly bike friendly.
Of the 10, Washington State meets eight of the criteria.
- Complete streets policy
- Dedicated state funding
- Active state advocacy group
- State bicycle plan
- Share the Road campaign
- Vulnerable road user law
- Bicycle safety emphasis in strategic highway safety plan
- Two percent or more of federal funds spent on bike/pedestrian safety
The two categories of success that Washington State failed to meet were: one percent or more of people commuting by bike, and a state safe passing law of three feet or greater.
Overall, the League of American Bicyclists gave the State of Washington 66 points of 100. While this score was the top in the nation, the state still has work to do. The League suggests that Washington update and revise its state bicycle and state walking plans. The plans were last updated seven years ago.
Washington State Still Making Progress
Happily, the state of Washington appears to be committed to making process regarding bicyclists’ safety. In fact, the Seattle Department of Transportation recently updated their master bicycle plan: read about it on our bicycle/pedestrian accident blog.
Hopefully, more action will be taken by the state to improve cyclists’ and pedestrians’ safety even more. If you are involved in a bicycle accident, call Max Meyers Law PLLC at 425-399-7000.