The Dutch city of Utrecht is the world’s most bicycle-friendly city. That’s according to the Bicycle Cities Index 2019, a study conducted by digital insurance company Coya, for which the conditions for cycling in 90 cities across the globe were analyzed based on 16 indicators across six main categories: weather, bicycle usage, crime & safety, infrastructure, sharing and events. Utrecht is joined by seven other European cities in the top 10, with Auckland (New Zealand) and Hangzhou (China) the only non-European cities near the top of the ranking.
American cities are conspicuously absent from the top 10 with San Francisco the highest-ranked U.S. city at 39th. Portland and Seattle are also among the top 50, but overall it must be said that U.S. metropolises aren’t particularly bike-friendly. Whether this has to do with the fact that most Americans still commute to work by car or whether Americans take the car because of lackluster bike infrastructure is a classic chicken/egg problem, it’s hard to tell which was there first. It seems safe to say however, that using bicycles for everyday transportation is more deeply engrained culturally in Europe than it is in the United States, which is why it’s no surprise that European cities dominate the ranking.