Whether due to the need for more outdoor activity, a desire for a greener lifestyle, rising gas prices, or too much traffic, more and more people are turning to bicycling as a mode of transportation. Cities have adapted by creating bike sharing services and designated bike lanes. According to the Coya Bicycle Cities Index 2019, the Dutch city of Utrecht is the most bike-friendly city in the world.
Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands and part of the Randstad area, has earned a Bicycling Cities Index of 77.84. The city has an oceanic climate with temperatures reaching averages of 22.8 °C (73 °F) in the summer and 0.3 °C (32.5 °F) in the winter. The city sees about 25 days of snow and over 1,600 hours of sunshine a year. Due to the presence of a large university, the city has a relatively young population. The city also has an extensive network of cycling paths and a large bicycle parking station is located near the Central Railway System. About 33% of the journey’s made within the city are by bicycle.
Münster, the city that claims to be Germany’s bicycling capital, received the second highest ranking by the Bicycling Cities Index with 66.15. Although known as one of the rainiest cities in Germany, the city sees 1,500 hours of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 9.4 °C (48.9 °F). About 37.6% of journeys made in the city are by bicycle and the city has an extensive network of bicycling paths connecting the city’s districts as well as the Promenade which encircles the city center.
Eight of the top 10 bicycle-friendly cities as ranked by the Coya Bicycle Cities Index 2019 are located in Europe. Two of the top 10 cities are located in the Netherlands (Utrecht and Amsterdam) and two are in Germany (Münster and Bremen). The other cities are Antwerp in Belgium, Copenhagen in Denmark, Malmö in Sweden, and Bern in Switzerland. Auckland in New Zealand (7th, 55.38) and Hangzhou in China (8th, 52.55) are the only two cities in the top 10 outside of Europe. Only three US cities rank in the top 50; San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. Interestingly, San Francisco ranked third in The Alliance for Biking and Walking’s report on the best US cities for cyclists.