The League of American Bicyclists has increased Oklahoma’s bicycle friendliness ranking from 43rd in 2011 to 35th this year. Even more impressive to note is that in 2008, Oklahoma was ranked 48th. According to the League, this steady improvement is due to increases in “infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.”
“We are encouraged to see significant progress,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “But, as the scores clearly highlight, there’s much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and funding. We look forward to working with Oklahoma to improve conditions for people who bike for transportation and recreation.”
You can see Oklahoma’s full report here and compare us to other states here.
The faculty senate at OU wants to make the university truly bike friendly:
The senate eventually wants to see OU certified as a bicycle-friendly university by the League of American Bicyclists.
Both the Staff and Faculty Senate call for OU to be designated a bicycle-friendly university within the next five years, according to the resolutions.
via OUDaily.com | Faculty Senate calls for bicycling-friendly OU.
The university is planning to expand the limited path system on campus and installing additional bicycle racks.
Norman becomes the second Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community in Oklahoma after Tulsa’s win in 2009. The League of American Bicyclists website gives great praise to the efforts Norman has made to expand their cycling path and trail networks along with the recent passage of a three-foot passing rule:
Community Highlights: Norman’s current Bicycle Advisory Committee has come a long way in the past decade to reinstitute old bike lanes while also extending the network with the addition of new lanes. There is broad support for policies and programs suggested by the Bicycle Advisory Committee and from citizens and new ideas are always encouraged.The city hired an engineering firm to design the first phase of a 10 mile multi-modal path along State Highway 9 that will connect urban Norman to rural east Norman. Norman puts a strong emphasis on keeping cyclists safe and educating its youth. For example, Norman’s Public Schools participate annually in the International Walk and Bike to School Day. The city adopted a three foot passing law as a city ordinance so it can be enforced at a municipal court level. The city sponsors Safety Town classes annually during the month of June for children under the age of six. There are numerous bike clubs and groups, including youth and beginner, all the way up to road-racing teams that offer weekly group rides and annual road races and mountain bike trail competitions.
Compelling Accomplishment: This city has begun a pilot program in a few areas of town to demonstrate the need for and use of bike lanes in the city. This first phase of adding new bike lanes is being funded for its full amount ($55,216) by the city’s capital budget. After this stage, the city plans to pursue a Complete Streets policy and continue to expand the bicycle network beyond the existing 12 miles of paved shared us path and 18 miles of singletrack.
via League of American Bicyclists * Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma as a state still ranks as 43 out 50 states according to the LAB rankings. We fail in all categories measured except for a D in Enforcement and a C in Education and Encouragement.