New Haven is one of the nation’s ten safest cities for cyclists, according to a new analysis.  In a ranking dominated by communities in California, with six of the top ten, New Haven was not only the lone Connecticut city to earn a spot among the top ten, it was the only city in the Northeast to do so. 

The ranking saw Davis and Berkeley California named the safest cities for bicyclists, followed by Boulder, Colorado; Eugene, Oregon; Palo Alto, Chico, and Mountain View, California; Fort Collins, Colorado; Santa Barbara, California, and New Haven.  Minneapolis ranked number 12.

Five other Connecticut cities made their way into the top 100 nationally:  Hartford at number 55; Norwalk at number 82; Bridgeport at number 85; New Britain at number 91 and Waterbury, which was ranked at number 92.  Lower down the list were Stamford, ranked number 221 and Danbury,  which came in at number 229.

New Haven debuted Connecticut’s first protected bike lanes a year ago, according to published reports, from City Hall to Long Wharf, and city officials have said  “New Haven encourages alternative transportation options in the city so there is a variety of existing supported infrastructure available, including off-street shared use paths, on-street bicycle lanes, a contra-flow bike lane, bike boxes at intersections, on-street bike corrals, bike racks on sidewalks, bike racks on parking meters and bike racks on buses.”

“New Haven likely fared well due to their bike laws, a high percentage of spending per capita on bike lanes and their low percentage of fatal crashes,” said Laura Schmitz, Safety Writer with Your Local Security. “The city of New Haven should be proud of their efforts to make their city safer for cyclists!”

The city also launched a bike sharing program this year, in February, and celebrated National Bike to Work Day in May with a program encouraging bike riding.  In addition, Yale University is a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly University, as awarded by the League of American Bicyclists, and the city has developed on-line bike route maps.

The safest city in Massachusetts, Somerville, ranked number 58.  Providence was the safest in Rhode Island, but ranked number 482 on the national list.  Syracuse was determined to be the safest in New York State, ranking number 537.

The rankings were issued by yourlocalsecurity.com, an ADT Authorized Premier Provider.  To determine the safest and least safe US cities for bikers, metrics and data were used from Census.gov, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, People for Bikes, and The League of American Bicyclists to find the percentage of bike commuters, number of fatal crashes, amount of bike lanes, and what bike laws are in place or in the works in each city.

At the bottom of the list, the ten most dangerous cities included Los Angeles, New York, Houston, and five cities in Iowa.  Cities were included if these sources had data for them. Cities included had populations of 20,000 or more.

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