Seattle, Minneapolis named best US cities for biking — see where yours ranks

Two women biking on a city street

It’s no secret that most cities — and even small towns — across the U.S. are built with cars in mind. 

But as of 2024, over 2 million American adults do not have access to a car

“Nothing radicalizes you faster against the car-dependent nature of America, than going to a walkable European city,” TikTok creator Zaid Leppelin said last summer. “I’m in Amsterdam right now, and I could cry over how bike and pedestrian-friendly this city is.” 

Biking has been proven to better both mental and physical health, while of course, saving the environment

But bike lanes and paths do even more than that: they also close the gap between households of all economic backgrounds. 

They connect people not just to the beauty of local parks and nature reserves but to vital resources that would otherwise only be accessible by cars or public transportation — like grocery stores, laundromats, banks, and hardware stores. 

That’s why PeopleForBikes was created. The nonprofit is rooted in accelerating the infrastructure of bikeways, advancing pro-bike policies in government, and reducing barriers to access through community outreach. 

“You can truly see PeopleForBikes’ vision in action with the release of our annual city ratings,” Jenn Dice, PeopleForBikes president and CEO, said ​​to Bike Mag

“We are committed to creating an environment where more people ride bikes more often and the U.S. is the best place in the world to ride a bike.” 

a man rests on a hill lined by trees beside a bicycle, as a skyscraper rises in the distance
Image via via Noralí Nayla / Unsplash

On June 25, the nonprofit released their city ratings for 2024, evaluating cities — small, medium, and large — by six factors that ensure that common destinations “are accessible by safe, comfortable bike routes” that serve bikers “of all ages and abilities.”

The higher the score, from zero to 100, the better the bikeability. 

The factors involved in measuring a city’s bikeability include: safe speeds, amount of protected bike lanes, connections to vital destinations, reallocated spaces, intersection treatments, and data reliability. 

It’s important to note the progress that’s been made in bikeability, too. In the organization’s 2019 rankings, only 32 U.S. cities scored 50 or higher. Fast forward to today, 33 cities that scored below 50 in 2019 surpassed the 50-point mark in 2024. In total, 183 U.S. cities scored 50 and over in 2024.

Here’s how American cities measure up, based on their population size (over 300k, 50k to 300k, less than 50k). 

Top 50 large US cities, ranked by bikeability

  • Riverside, California - 20
  • Santa Ana, California - 20
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia - 21
  • Raleigh, North Carolina - 21
  • Mesa, Arizona - 22
  • Stockton, California - 22
  • Newark, New Jersey - 23
  • Lexington, Kentucky - 23
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - 24
  • Miami, Florida - 24
  • New Orleans, Louisiana - 25
  • Cincinnati, Ohio - 25
  • Los Angeles, California - 25
  • Orlando, Florida - 26
  • Nashville, Tennessee - 26
  • Columbus, Ohio - 27
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma - 28
  • Phoenix, Arizona - 29
  • Kansas City, Missouri - 29
  • Atlanta, Georgia - 30
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 30
  • Charlotte, North Carolina - 30
  • Henderson, Nevada - 31
  • Irvine, California - 31
  • Cleveland, Ohio - 31
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico - 32
  • San Diego, California - 32
  • Baltimore, Maryland - 33
  • San Jose, California - 33
  • Boston, Massachusetts - 34
  • Austin, Texas - 34
  • Sacramento, California - 34
  • Omaha, Nebraska - 36
  • Aurora, Colorado - 37
  • Tucson, Arizona - 39
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado - 40
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico - 41
  • Detroit, Michigan - 43
  • Long Beach, California - 43
  • Oakland, California - 45
  • Washington, District of Columbia - 46
  • Denver, Colorado - 46
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin - 46
  • New York, New York - 56
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 58
  • Portland, Oregon - 59
  • St. Paul, Minnesota - 61
  • San Francisco, California - 64
  • Seattle, Washington - 65
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota - 71

Top 50 medium US cities, ranked by bikeability

  • Iowa City, Iowa - 44
  • New Brunswick, New Jersey - 44
  • Council Bluffs, Iowa - 44
  • Flagstaff, Arizona - 44
  • Petaluma, California - 44
  • Coeur D'Alene, Idaho - 45
  • Apple Valley, California - 45
  • Elizabeth, New Jersey - 45
  • Eden Prairie, Minnesota - 45
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan - 46
  • Alameda, California - 47
  • Missoula, Montana - 47
  • Woodbury, Minnesota - 47
  • Broomfield, Colorado - 47
  • Bozeman, Montana - 47
  • Miami Beach, Florida - 47
  • Santa Barbara, California - 48
  • Rapid City, South Dakota - 49
  • The Woodlands, Texas - 49
  • Logan, Utah - 50
  • Maple Grove, Minnesota - 50
  • Aurora, Illinois - 50
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas - 50
  • Chico, California - 51
  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin - 51
  • Woodland, California - 52
  • Salt Lake City, Utah - 52
  • Arlington, Virginia - 53
  • Fort Collins, Colorado - 54
  • Carmel, Indiana - 55
  • Palo Alto, California - 55
  • Fargo, North Dakota - 55
  • Bloomington, Indiana - 56
  • Plainfield, New Jersey - 57
  • Longmont, Colorado - 57
  • Somerville, Massachusetts - 58
  • West Des Moines, Iowa - 58
  • Madison, Wisconsin - 60
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota - 61
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin - 61
  • Santa Monica, California - 61
  • Hoboken, New Jersey - 62
  • Anchorage, Alaska - 64
  • Ames, Iowa - 66
  • Boulder, Colorado - 70
  • Corvallis, Oregon - 70
  • Ankeny, Iowa - 70
  • Berkeley, California - 71
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts - 72
  • Davis, California - 78

Top 50 small US cities, ranked by bikeability

  • Sanibel, Florida - 64
  • Monona, Wisconsin - 64
  • Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin - 64
  • Davenport, California - 65
  • Ludington, Michigan - 65
  • Glenbrook, Nevada - 65
  • Fayette, Alabama - 65
  • Soldotna, Alaska - 66
  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin - 67
  • Marshfield, Wisconsin - 67
  • Balltown, Iowa - 67
  • Traverse City, Michigan - 67
  • Key West, Florida - 68
  • Chautauqua, New York - 68
  • Sonoma, California - 69
  • Marquette, Michigan - 69
  • Ojai, California - 69
  • Point Arena, California - 69
  • Oberlin, Ohio - 69
  • Rogers City, Michigan - 69
  • Port Townsend, Washington - 70
  • Ocean City, New Jersey - 70
  • Hustisford, Wisconsin - 71
  • Jackson, Wyoming - 72
  • Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania - 73
  • Ashland, Oregon - 73
  • Valdez, Alaska - 74
  • Bluffton, Ohio - 75
  • Aspen, Colorado - 75
  • St. Marys, Ohio - 76
  • Emerald Isle, North Carolina - 76
  • Shorewood, Wisconsin - 76
  • Thompsonville, Michigan - 77
  • Carroll, Iowa - 78
  • Tabor, South Dakota - 79
  • Fayette, Missouri - 80
  • Winnett, Montana - 80
  • Woodland, Mississippi - 81
  • Ashland, Wisconsin - 81
  • Watford City, North Dakota - 82
  • Sewanee, Tennessee - 83
  • Murdock, Nebraska - 84
  • Blue Diamond, Nevada - 85
  • Crested Butte, Colorado - 87
  • Fort Yates, North Dakota - 88
  • Springdale, Utah - 89
  • Washburn, Wisconsin - 89
  • Harbor Springs, Michigan - 92
  • Provincetown, Massachusetts - 96
  • Mackinac Island, Michigan - 99

Header photo courtesy of Maixent Viau

Article Details

June 26, 2024 1:26 PM
A woman with tan skin holds a tampon in front of her torso. She is not wearing a shirt, but has on pale pink underwear. The photo is cropped to show only her torso and hands.

Scared about heavy metals in tampons? Here are 4 alternatives for your next period

A new study revealed a number of heavy metals in tampons sold in the U.S. and Europe. Here are some other options to consider for your next cycle.
Orange seats inside a subway car

Ranked: These are the top 10 best U.S. cities for public transportation

Only three of the top 10 transit systems are in the nation's top 10 most populous cities. Good transit spans the country.
No items found.

Want to stay up-to-date on positive news?

The best email in your inbox.
Filled with the day’s best good news.