Up another spoke: Delaware now third-best bike friendly state in U.S.

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Bicyclists in Delaware are riding in the third-highest bike-friendly state in America, according to 2015 rankings issued Monday by the League of American Bicyclists.

DOVER – Up another spoke, Delaware has moved from fourth to No. 3 among the nation’s most bicycle-friendly states, according to 2015 rankings issued Monday by the League of American Bicyclists.

“We’ve dedicated to improving our trails and pathways and making Delaware a more bikeable state because we know these efforts pay off by strengthening the quality of life in our communities,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “Today’s announcement is more evidence of the progress we have made in harnessing the health, recreation, and economic benefits of cycling. It’s all part of our commitment to ensure Delaware is great location for people to live and work.”

“Delaware’s continued improvement in the annual ranking of bicycle-friendly states is due to the continuing hard work and dedication of public servants and many private citizens,” said DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan. “DelDOT is proud of our role in helping advance Governor Markell’s vision for a statewide network of inter connected trails and pathways. In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing collaboration with everyone who shares the goal of keeping Delaware a national leader in advancing safe, accessible and enjoyable bicycling.”

“This recognition highlights the progress we’ve made through Gov. Markell’s Trails and Pathways Initiative – which DNREC is proud to partner on with DelDOT,” said Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small. “This program is making the state a healthier, more active and attractive place to live, work, play and visit. Cyclists get the benefit of not only a healthier lifestyle but a closer view and appreciation of the natural wonders Delaware offers.”

Washington, No. 1 for the eighth consecutive year, and Minnesota remain 1-2 in the state rankings.

Delaware is the highest-ranked state on the east coast. Neighboring Maryland and Pennsylvania were 10th and 12th, respectively.

In 2008, when Delaware was ranked 31st in the nation for bicycle friendly states, at the first Delaware Bicycle Summit, Gov. Markell unveiled an ambitious project to make Delaware the nation’s leader, showing the rest of the country the wide-ranging benefits of having a state that is more bicycle friendly.

In the report card issued by the Bicycle League, among Delaware successes, the state was lauded for a safe passing law to give bicyclists enough space when a motorist passes a bicycle, and for having an aggressive share the road campaign.

Link to Bike League’s release for Bike Rankings — http://www.bikeleague.org/content/bicycle-friendly-state-ranking-released

Link to Delaware’s report card from the Bicycle League — http://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS2015_Delaware.pdf

Link to the state’s rankings since 2008 — http://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/Historical_ranking_chart.pdf

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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