Boston, Cambridge Ranked Among Top Cities for Biking

Cambridge's ranking climbed two slots on Bicycling magazine's list. Boston's slipped by one.

To all the denizens of Boston and Cambridge who rely on their bicycles to get from A to B, take a look around. The imperfect, but slowly improving, environment for bike-mounted travelers like you are among the best in America.

Such were the findings of Bicycling magazine’s biennial roundup of The 50 Best Bike Cities of 2016.

“Cycling in America has never been better,” the magazine proclaims. “These bike-friendly cities are leading the charge for safer (and livelier) streets.”

Coming in at eighth this time was Cambridge (up from its 10th place slot in 2014). Boston came in 17th (down one from the last survey, when it came in 16th). Chicago placed first, followed by San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon.

According to its website, Bicycling considered factors such as the availability of bike lanes and the proportion of women who feel safe enough to bike, and collected input from cycling advocates and riders.

In Cambridge, the study’s authors pointed as justification for the high ranking to the much-heralded protected bike lane on Western Avenue, clean air policies, traffic-calming road engineering, and the move in 2014 to equip big city vehicles with side guards. Read the full synopsis here.

Boston, meanwhile, was celebrated for its Hubway bike network; a protected bike lane project called Connect Historic Boston, and an upcoming bike-friendly rehabilitation of Commonwealth Avenue. It marks a big turnaround for the city that began with the last administration at City Hall, says Bicycling. The rest is here.

“Under [former Boston mayor Tom] Menino’s reign,” the magazine writes, “Boston transformed itself from this magazine’s perennial Worst City for Cycling designation to amongst the best cities for bicycling in the country.”