Jul 26, 2014
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Ohio Ranked No. 32 Nationwide in 'Bike Friendliness'

Local advocates say we can do better.

Ohio Ranked No. 32 Nationwide in 'Bike Friendliness'

(Editor's Note: The map above was created by the League of American Cyclists)

While Lakewood's got a goal to become the Most Bike Friendly City in North America by 2015, it looks as if the rest of the state has some catching up to do.

The state of Ohio ranked No. 32 for bike friendliness, according to the  League of American Bicyclists' 2013 rankings by state and region. 

Texas did better. So did Florida.

The top five are Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota and Delaware.

The Buckeye State can improve, say local cycling advocates. 

Ohio scored poorly on evaluation and planning, policies and infrastructure, according to the ranking.

Keith Pishnery, a local bicycling advocate and board member of the Bike Lakewood organization, said he’s surprised at the marks Ohio received. 

But admitted that there’s work to be done.

“My perception is that there is a good bicycling community in the Cleveland area,” he said. “You see lots bicycles all over the place — especially in Lakewood. But it’s more of a specialized community group, rather than a statewide practice.”

The report noted that Ohio needs to adopt a road user law that “increases penalties for a motorist that injures or kills a pedestrian.” It also criticizes the “low amount” of federal funding spent on bicyclists and pedestrians. 

Ohio could educate its motorists more, too, according to the report.

One of the measurement components — and a key element of local advocacy — is having a safe-passing law.

“In Northeast Ohio, in terms of bicycle friendliness, drivers are not very educated about cycling laws,” Pishnery said. “There is a lot of harassment toward bicyclists, and I think a lot of that could be helped if there was more state involvement, and encouragement for commuting by bikes.”

Does Ohio need to do more to support cycling? 

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