The League of American Bicyclists has named the California town of Davis the top city in the US for bicycling every year since 2005, according to the Portland Press Herald. Davis, which has a population of approximately 67,000, is a college town that built its first bike path in 1967. Since then, Davis has continued to grow and foster its cycling community. As a result, even though under 1 percent of US citizens rode their bikes to work in 2014, in Davis, 23 percent of residents commuted to work via bicycle in 2014.
What Makes Davis the Top City in the US for Bicycling?
Davis has been on the forefront of innovations to improve convenience and safety for bicyclists for decades. The city and the University of California, Davis have been working together regarding bicycle safety since the 1960s when the school made expansions to its campus to make it nearly free of the presence of automobile traffic. Recognizing the benefits of the university’s pedestrian and bicycle-friendly initiatives, as Davis grew, an expansive and well-designed network of bike lanes and paths that extends over 100 miles was installed throughout the city. In addition, Davis provides its bicycling community with the following benefits:
- The University of California, Davis provides students, faculty and visitors with a huge network of bike lanes and bike paths throughout its campus;
- An easy to navigate tool on the city website that enables people to learn about bike laws, voice issues regarding bicycling issues, report stolen bicycles, request bicycle rack installations and report abandoned bicycles;
- Multiple bicycle and pedestrian bridges and underpasses that enable bicyclists to avoid railroad crossings and high-traffic roadways;
- Ample bicycle parking throughout the city, including 3,500 public parking spots alone. In addition, there is a large amount of bike parking available on private property, at high schools and at universities, including covered parking in some locations;
- For school children who bicycle to school, they receive tags that attach to their backpacks that are scanned when they arrive at school, which results in an email or text being sent to their parents to let them know their children arrived to school safely;
- Annual bicycle safety campaigns and periods where police increase enforcement of bicycle laws, including $50 citations for first-time offenders;
- The city has employees who only work on pedestrian and bicycle safety issues, including an employee in charge of the Safe Routes to School program and a bicycle-pedestrian coordinator;
- Davis invests heavily in maintaining and upgrading its infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. The improvements are mostly made possible through competitive grants. In 2016, there are $8.5 million in upgrades to the bicyclist-pedestrian system already scheduled to take place.
San Diego bicycle accident attorney Frederick M. Dudek rides frequently, including commuting to his law office, and strives to assist individuals in getting fair compensation for injuries sustained in bicycle accidents.