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Eugene Among Most Bike-Friendly Cities in America

Friday, April 09, 2010 at 07:56 AM EDT

Ample bike parking, lit bike paths, and the Smart Ways to School program are just three of the reasons Eugene has been named No. 5 among America's Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities in a recent article by Bicycling magazine.

On Tuesday, the world's largest bicycling magazine announced its ranking of the 50 most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. The top five, in order, are Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Boulder, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; and Eugene, Oregon.

According to the magazine, the rankings pay homage to cities that have shown real innovation, as well as local government support and a vibrant bike culture. "This year's list is evidence that a much-needed, far-reaching pro-bike movement is in full swing, all across the country," said Loren Mooney, editor-in-chief of Bicycling.

To compile the list, Bicycling editors considered cities with populations of 100,000 or more. They used factors such as cycling-friendly statistics (numbers of bike lanes and routes, bike racks, city projects completed and planned), as well as changes in these statistics and a city's future plans since the last survey.

They also took into account the bike culture (number of bike commuters, cycling clubs, cycling events, renowned bike shops). Editors also referenced the Bicycling and Walking in the United States 2010 Benchmarking Report prepared by the Alliance for Biking & Walking, the League of American BicyclistsBicycle Friendly America project, and interviews with national and local advocates, bike shops, and other experts.

Eugene has 153 miles of paths, bike lanes and bike routes and a well-developed bicycle education programs, including the Eye-to-Eye traffic safety campaign and a well-organized Safe Routes to Schools program. In 2009, those factors helped Eugene earn a gold-level bike designation by the League of American Bicyclists.

For the complete top 50 list or for more on Bicycling magazine's Best Bike Cities, visit their website or pick up the May issue of Bicycling, which is on newsstands now. You can also view a slideshow of each of the top 50 cities and get information on the best small and best foreign cities for biking.