Students across Michigan hopped on their bikes this morning, in celebration of the country’s second annual Bike to School Day. According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, more than 80 Michigan schools geared up for the two-wheeled holiday, up from 45 schools in 2012.
Bike to School Day rolls around just days after the League of American Bicyclists released their report on the most bike-friendly states in the country. Michigan earned a spot in the top twenty, falling in 12th place on the group’s survey. In the Midwest region, Michigan was ranked fourth.
Here's a list of Michigan's bike-friendly communities:
According to the report, Michigan fared well in pedal-friendly infrastructure and planning, but fell short on policies, programs, and education. “Michigan has a high number of bicyclist fatalities,” the report stated, with 24 fatal crashes in 2011. The League recommended increasing bicycle safety programs and policies across the state, including a vulnerable road user law, which would increase penalties for a motorist who injures a bike rider.
Other recommendations include ensuring bicycle parking at all state office buildings, parks, and recreational facilities, as well as a statewide bike ride sponsored by the governor and legislators to “show their constituents that their elected officials support bicycling.” Don’t forget your helmet, Rick Snyder.
- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom