Best and Worst Cities in America for Bicycle Safety
With pleas to increase cycling road safety, it’s clear the world cares about its cyclists staying safe. So, here is the US cycling data to discover the safest and least safe cities for cyclists in the country.
- Most of the Top 10 safest cities for cyclists are in California and other west coast states. The fact that Davis, Calif., is the safest city for cycling may be a testament to city leaders’ careful planning and bicycle education safety.
- Iowa dominates the majority of least-safe cities for cyclists in the US, even with the popular Ragbrai biking event being hosted in The Hawkeye State.
- Despite being a west coast city, Los Angeles is one of the least safe cities. Why isn’t Southern California as safe as Northern or Central California?
- Missoula, MT had over 7% of residents report that they use cycling as a main method of transportation to get to work (#6 out of the cities we researched), yet Montana got a 0 for each of our bike law categories.
- 36 cities that currently have no protected bike lanes have either proposed or are currently working on building protected bike lanes.
- Alaska has some of the highest spending per capita ($9.71) despite the fact that they have very low percentages of commuters who bike (1.5% in Anchorage and 0% in the other cities we researched).
10 Safest Cities
- DAVIS, California
- BERKELEY, California
- BOULDER, Colorado
- EUGENE, Oregon
- PALO ALTO, California
- CHICO, California
- MOUNTAIN VIEW, California
- FORT COLLINS, Colorado
- SANTA BARBARA, California
- NEW HAVEN, Connecticut
10 Most Dangerous Cities
- LOS ANGELES, California
- NEW YORK CITY, New York
- WEBSTER CITY, Iowa
- JAMESTOWN, North Dakota
- FARGO, North Dakota
- HOUSTON, Texas
- WATERLOO, Iowa
- SIOUX CITY, Iowa
- JOHNSTON, Iowa
- DES MOINES, Iowa
Each State’s Safest City
|State Name||State’s Safest City||City’s Safety Ranking|
|New Jersey||Jersey City||408|
|New Mexico||Santa Fe||540|
|South Dakota||Rapid City||736|
|Utah||Salt Lake City||30|
To determine the safest and least safe US cities for bikers, we gathered metrics and data from Census.gov, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, People for Bikes, and The League of American Bicyclists to find the percentage of bike commuters, number of fatal crashes, amount of bike lanes, and what bike laws are in place or in the works in each city. Cities were included if these sources had data for them.
Each metric was then added together with the following weight based on a 100-point scale:
- Bike commuter: x3
- Fatal crashes: x6
- Protected bike lanes: x1
- Proposed protected bike lanes: x.5
- Complete street law: x1
- Safe passing law: x1
- Statewide bike plan: x1
- Bike safety emphasis area: x1
- Spending per capita: x1
Finally, the total 790 cities were ranked based on their overall score.
Keeping Safe Once You Park
When you ride your bike on city streets, you likely worry about your physical safety. But you may also face the risk of bike theft once you park your cycle in public or at home. In fact, the National Bike Registry estimates there are 1.5 million bikes stolen each year, and many thefts occur at home.
BSG, partner of Alarm.com—aims to provide the security tools and information needed to build a safer home environment. For inquiries, please contact 855-MYSMARTHOME.