The League of American Bicyclists has released this year’s Bicycle Friendly State Reports and FABB was pleased to note that Virginia was judged to be doing better in terms of ridership, safety and spending. The report used federal data on bicycling to highlight the evolution of biking-related inputs and outcomes in every state during the last decade. The Old Dominion now boasts 12 Bicycle Friendly Communities, 46 Bicycle Friendly Businesses, and 8 Bicycle Friendly Universities.
In 2018 Virginia showed strong positive trends for bicyclists over the last decade. According to LAB, it is one of a few states that has one of the 10 best trends for each federal data indicator, led by the state’s increase in the use of federal funds for bicycling and walking.
Virginia just missed out on taking all five Bicycle Friendly Actions due to a low rate of funding in 2013, but will likely pass the 2% threshold when fiscal year 2018 data is reported based on current trends. The big next step would be for Virginia to continue the trend in increases in bicycling to work so that the state exceeds the national average
You can see the full progress report on Virginia here: https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS_Progress_Report_2018_Virginia.pdf
The League warns that, despite progress like that shown in Virginia, there are some troubling trends in the federal data. Bicyclist safety is trending in the wrong direction in most states with a higher rate of bicyclist fatalities per 10,000 bicycle commuters in 38 states. Rates of bicycle commuting also have seen modest decreases form highs set in 2014 in many states.
In short, we have to stay active in advocating for better bicycling with local, state, and national officials, and we could use your help in 2019. Interested in learning about volunteer opportunities? Send us a note at [email protected].