Monday, September 19, 2016

Salem Falls again in Bicycling Magazine Rankings, from 38th to 47th

The good news is Bicycling Magazine still ranks Salem in the top 50 cities for bicycling. The bad news is we continue to fall in the rankings relative to other cities. This year we are 47th.

From #19 in 2010 to #38 in 2014
Salem's ranking has traced a steady downward arc, going from #19 in 2010, to #22 in 2012, to #38 in 2014.

It's also a little hard to square a top 50 ranking with "miles of bike lanes in Salem...woefully inadequate."

Your mileage may vary - but the high level observation remains true: By national standards Salem is pretty good, but by absolute or international standards, Salem still rates poorly.

The LAB renewal will come out soon - Keizer you may have heard submitted an application! - and it will be interesting to see how our "bronze" fares in that round of evaluation.

Both Eugene and Portland ranked higher than Salem on the Bicycling Magazine ratings - but not Corvallis, Ashland, Beaverton, or Bend, each of which is rated "silver" or "gold" by the LAB. Those are interesting omissions, though they may have missed a cut based on population size.

Also interesting in the piece:
In addition to its work on a greenway network, in 2016, Salem will strip its first buffered bike lanes on two downtown streets, and launch a bike share system in 2017.
Bike share in Salem next year? Hmmm....

Also not quite sure about the geographic accuracy here:
On the 132-mile Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway you’ll pedal alongside the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range, through the Cubanisimo Vineyard, which produces some of the best Pinot Noir in the country, and amidst the refreshing fragrances of pink and purple wildflowers. Make a pit stop in Salem, about 30 miles into the Bikeway, for shortcake topped with local berries at the E.Z. Orchards Farm Market.
These are puff pieces, and maybe it is unrealistic to expect close-to-the-ground detail.

But even if you still want to celebrate Salem's top 50 standing, it is also important to note that we are losing ground relative to other cities, who seem more eager to give bike transport and bike recreation a bigger portion of the transportation mix.

No comments: