Bike Score has landed. Developed in Seattle by the makers of Walk Score, Bike Score analyzes several factors to determine how bikeable an area is.
Parts of the city that have a good balance of bicycle facilities, relatively flat terrain, destinations and existing bicycle commuters score well.
Averaging all areas of the city together, Seattle gets a 64 out of 100. This places it 7th in the nation. Minneapolis edged out Portland for the top seat on the list (BikePortland reports that this is because dedicated bike paths are weighted twice as much as bike lanes and neighborhood greenways). Seattle also places behind San Francisco, Boston, Madison and D.C.
Some interesting things about the map:
- Popular waterfront biking areas score terribly. For example, West Seattle does not do well as a whole, including along the Alki Trail. Lake Washington neighborhoods also do poorly, even though they are along popular bicycling routes.
- The map understands that not all hills are deterrents to cycling. For example, the number of destinations, bike facilities and current bike commuters on Capitol Hill and the Central District far outweigh the steep and endless climbing required to get there. Same with Wallingford and the University District.
- The Missing Link destroys Ballard’s bikeability. Once completed, huge new swaths of the neighborhood’s densest areas will instantly turn green:
- In order to weigh the current bike commuter levels, the Bike Score folks used Census data to map where bike commuters live. So much to discuss here:
- The Bike Score results bear a lot of similarities to a bikeability study by Seattle Transit Blog’s Adam Parast.
What are your thoughts? I’d say the Bike Score team did a fantastic job weighing all the elements that go into making communities bikeable. It gives some good hints about where we should be prioritizing new bicycle connections. For example, there is some excellent potential in Magnolia if we can get more residents to the Elliott Bay Trail. Cycle track on Gilman Ave? Are there neighborhood greenway options?
And for the love of god, can we get a safe cycling facility through Rainier Valley?