Digging deeper, it becomes more apparent that Minneapolis shares more with cities on the coasts like Portland, which has a similar number of highly walkable neighborhoods and until recently was repeatedly ranked as the #1 bike-friendly city in the USA by Bicycling Magazine. Coming from another Midwestern city that only has a tiny fraction of the cycling infrastructure that is found here, imagine how pleased I was that two new bike boulevards (low traffic, calmed streets which are shared with cars but geared towards bikes) were being finished near my new apartment in NE. As a cyclist who had braved winter cycling for a few years it was extra nice to be able to ride as much as I have without lots of snow and ice to dissuade me for my first Minnesota “winter”.
Other large Midwestern cities fail hard in this department save for Chicago (10th). Appearances on the list ranged from so-so to shameful: Milwaukee (26th), Kansas City (33rd), Columbus (34th), St. Louis (38th), Cleveland (39), Omaha (42nd), Indianapolis (45th), and Cincinnati which somehow didn’t even place.
While Minneapolis is comparable to cities on the coast as far as walkability, it excels over most including NYC where cyclists get ticketed if they choose to not use a bike lane where they are available (I’m sure everyone has seen that Youtube video) and Chicago which is lagging behind and whose residents would like see the city emulate Minneapolis. Other Midwestern cities, *sigh*, they’re once again fitting the stereotype of being behind the times when it comes to delivering amenities for quality, everyday urban living. Minneapolis currently offers a wide variety of biking infrastructure that covers a lot of ground and will hopefully work hard to stay at the forefront of making it easy to get everywhere you need to go by bike and increase the number of riders out there.