With its miles of open spaces and long days of sunny weather, Arizona is a desirable place for cyclists. How safe, though, is the state for cyclists? Do drivers and cyclists practice safe habits to avoid car and bicycle collisions, or is the state known for a hazardous environment for those on two wheels?
According to the League of American Bicyclists, established in 1880, Arizona lands in the middle of the pack for overall bike safety. The organization compiles the ranking through a close look at publicly available data on biking in each state, as well as surveys filled out by state organizations and biking advocacy groups. Public data used for the ranking includes the following sources:
- Biking commuting information from the Census Bureau
- Data from the League of American Bicyclists on advocacy and laws that govern biking
- Spending data on bicycle and pedestrian issues from the Federal Highway Administration
- Biking fatality numbers from the Federal Highway Administration
The Bicycle Friendly State program began in 2008. Its primary goal was to help each state understand its strengths and weaknesses concerning bike safety.
Arizona ranked 21st best in states for a good atmosphere for biking. According to the 2017 ranking chart by the League of American Bicyclists, Arizona scored reasonably high marks for biking advocacy in the categories of Education and Encouragement and for Legislation and Enforcement. In the area of Evaluation and Planning, it was about average, and was below average in Policies and Programs related to biking safety. The state’s lowest marks came in the field of Infrastructure and Funding, where it ranked in the bottom 20% of states.