While the East Coast’s older cities may have been slow out of the gate, numerous have stepped forward in their commitment to create more bike-only stretches and enforce existing or toughened traffic laws. That combination has helped a variety of these communities to blossom as bike-friendly environments. Here are our five favorite bike cities on the East Coast:
The nation’s capital has long been a leader in urban bike friendliness. It was the first to implement a city bike-share program and now has concrete blockades protecting its bike lanes. Next year it will add another 100 dedicated lanes, making D.C. the perfect place for a great lightweight city bike. Check out sixthreezero’s awesome city bikes.
Cambridge was already one of the best cities in the U.S. for pedaling the best urban bicycles, but it has recently upped its commitment. Its redesign of Western Avenue to include a dedicated bike lane was named the best project of its kind in the country. In addition, it has pushed stricter emission standards for cars and increased the number of bike lanes and racks citywide. It also boasts the largest percentage of female bike riders in the U.S.—44 percent.
It may have previously been America’s mean streets, but New York City has committed big money to making itself a truly bike-friendly city. This trend was intensified in 2013 with the election of Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose administration decreased citywide speed limits to 25 miles per hour. The administration also became more aggressive in handing out tickets for speeding, texting while driving and failing to yield. Finally, it committed $100 million to redevelop and install bike lanes on Queens Boulevard, known as the Boulevard of Death. See sixthreezero’s entire lineup of city road bikes.
The past few years have been very good for Philadelphia’s bike riders and pedestrians. Most notably, the city completed its Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, which links the University of Pennsylvania with downtown, and includes a 2,000-foot path above the river that bypasses a busy rail line. The city is also adding 30 miles of bike lanes and recently brought 1,000 bikes to the city via its bike-share program. Peruse sixthreezero’s collection of on-road and off-road bikes.
The city has come a long way over the past few decades, transforming itself from the worst bike city in the country to one of the best. Much credit should go to former Mayor Tom Menino, who passed away in 2014. Because of his leadership, the city built more lanes, brought 2,000 bikes to the city, and is about to unveil its $23 million project to connect the central business district to the North End with protected bike lanes.
While these five may be the East Coast’s best bike cities, break out and find your own. Better yet, get together with your biking buddies and implore your community to make a commitment to the future and make it a better place to bike in the future. The planet will love you for it.
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