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Oklahoma City is ranked the 4th worst city for biking

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A map of the downtown OKC bike system.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – In a recent study done by betterdoctor.com Oklahoma City was ranked as the fourth least bike-able city in the U.S.

The study ranked the cities based on factors like the percentage of commuters who commute to work by bike, improvements that support bikes such as bike trails, and how safely a biker can travel within the city.

The top five most bike-friendly cities were Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, MN; Oakland, CA; and Sacramento, CA.

The top five least bike-friendly cities were Fort Worth, TX; Detroit, MI; Jacksonville, MO; Oklahoma City, OK; and Memphis, TN.

These rankings were based on data of federal spending on bike and pedestrian projects, as well as number of fatalities of bike commuters due to biking. The cities that rank higher than Oklahoma City invest more in sidewalks and bike lanes.

Many cities take greater measures to encourage more pedestrian and bike friendly compromises. “The initiative is the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ‘Safer People, Safer Streets’ program,” says Laura Pereyra of betterdoctor.com. Pereyra says this “calls on mayors and local officials to take positive steps toward improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Mayor Mick Cornett took initiative and helped the city reach its goal of losing one million pounds. He also got Project 180 moving which is “a $176 million redesign of downtown streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas to improve appearance and make the central core more pedestrian friendly,” according to the project’s webpage.

So, although Oklahoma City’s bike-ability has a long way to go, initiatives like Project 180 should help. Bike OKC is a group that promotes biking in downtown Oklahoma City, educates cyclists on safety, and rules of the road. Though Bike OKC ended in February 2015, the founder Eric Dryer left Oklahoma with one request: to “encourage your friends, family, and acquaintances to go on a bike ride, even if it is just around the block.”

In the past, betterdoctor.com has included Oklahoma City in a study that had Oklahoma City ranked as the second least healthy city in the U.S. Some of the factors that go into these studies include sidewalks or bike lanes and ability to get through the city. Oklahoma is so widespread, it is not totally connected.

Initiatives like Open Streets OKC and Project 180 should help move us off of these lists. In the mean time, more Oklahoma City residents can make efforts to bike through the city, or find a new route to work by bike. Exploring through the city by bike or even by foot helps to connect residents with the city much more while at the same time improves their health. 

For further reading on this study, visit https://betterdoctor.com/health/bike-friendly-cities/

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Marie Clark

Marie Clark is a sophomore at Classen School of Advanced Studies, attending as an orchestra...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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