Portland a top U.S. city for “bikeability,” so bike to work on Friday

A bicyclists casts a long shadow while riding through downtown Portland, Maine. (BDN file photo by Robert F. Bukaty)

Friday’s National Bike To Work Day, because everyday is something, and the city of Portland is joining with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine to welcome workers/bicyclists taking part with snacks and refreshments in Monument Square.

Here’s a couple of sentences from a city announcement explaining what worcyclists (made-up term) can expect:

Cyclists will have the opportunity to meet Coalition staff, win prizes like commuter lights, bike tools and more as well as pick up resources on bike safety and commuting tips.  For more information about the events, visit www.bikemaine.org.

This hullabaloo coincides with Walkscore.com‘s unveiling of Bike Scores for 100 U.S. cities. Because it’s now apparently illegal to unveil a nationwide ranking of any sort without providing Portland with marketing material (if you’ve been living in a box, Portland has been lauded for everything from beer to farmers markets to available women to job market to healthy living to retiree life to environmental friendliness to… well, you get the drift), Maine’s largest city got a score of 62.2 and placed 36th out of 100.

Not bad.

Here’s the city announcement again, explaining what went into the last back-slapping rank:

[The ranking] evaluated a number of factors including bike lanes, hills, road, destinations and road connectivity and opportunities for bike commuting. The score reflects progress the city has made to expand access for bicyclists such as increasing the number of bike lanes, adopting a Complete Streets ordinance for design and construction of streets, as well as the installation of bike racks throughout the city.

If you’re scoring at home, the No. 1 most bikeable city in America, according to WalkScore, is Portland, Ore., which got a rank of 70.3, followed by Denver (69.5) and Boston (67.8), respectively.

This all comes as Portland is exploring the possibility of a bikeshare program, which would likely increase its ranking even more. With a bikeshare program, bicycles are stationed at kiosks throughout the city, and residents can subscribe or temporarily rent the bikes for commutes around the city, then return them to the same or different kiosk in the system.

More on that as it develops. In the meantime, if you’ve got a bike already, ride it to work in Portland tomorrow and swing by Monument Square — between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. — for your goodies.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.