San Luis Obispo is one of the best American cities for cycling, according to bike advocacy group PeopleForBikes.
The Colorado-based nonprofit organization ranked the Central Coast community at No. 12 on its list of 2022’s Best Places to Bike.
For its sixth annual list, PeopleForBikes used its Bicycle Network Analysis (BNA) tool to rank cities on a scale of 1 to 100 in a web published guide based on new data collection and six categories: bike access to people, opportunity, core services, shopping, recreation and transit. San Luis Obispo earned a 63 City Rating, with the 2022 national average being 25.
The City Ratings guide also looks at each city’s infrastructure and safety, in addition to surveys of local community members’ opinions on biking, according to a news release.
The top cities for 2022 include Provincetown, Massachusetts; Davis; Fayette, Missouri; Crested Butte, Colorado; and Berkeley, respectively.
The BNA tool also measures stress levels associated with biking in each community based on factors such as speed limits, City Ratings program director Rebecca Davies said in the release.
“Most people don’t live in cities with the kind of bike infrastructure that makes it possible for them to use a bike as their primary mode of transportation,” Davies said. “We developed city ratings in order to measure progress and to encourage cities to build that infrastructure.”
SLO has more than 75 miles of bike paths and lanes and 150-plus secured bicycle parking spaces, according to the city’s website. The website also has a map highlighting bike routes throughout the city and accessible racks for parking.
The city adopted a new active transportation plan as of 2021, according to SLO transportation manager Adam Fukushima.
This includes objectives for increased biking and walking infrastructure to address the city’s climate action goals and reducing traffic. The goal is a 20% “mode-share” of biking in San Luis Obispo, Fukushima said.
“I think the designation by PeopleForBikes really shows the work we’re doing to improve that,” Fukushima said.
Fukushima added that SLO has built protected bike lanes throughout the city.
Starting in the fall, work will begin on a neighborhood greenway project, with new bike lanes on Chorro Street spanning from downtown SLO to Foothill Boulevard, he said.
For more information on bike lane access in San Luis Obispo, visit slocity.org, or check out PeopleForBikes’ SLO page at cityratings.peopleforbikes.org/cities/san-luis-obispo-ca.
This story was originally published June 26, 2022 10:30 AM.