Check out how much money this brings in.By LIONEL BEEHNER
In its March issue, National Geographic Traveler ranks the most bike-friendly cities in the United States for visitors. Topping the list, predictably, is Portland, Ore., which boasts dozens of bike rental shops, 75 miles of bike paths and guided bike tours along its waterfront and nearby gorges.
New York City, which rolled out 6,100 bike racks last summer and doubled the number of miles of bike lanes over the past three years to about 400, comes in a surprising second. The city also earned points for its car-free “Summer Streets” program as well as bike-friendly areas like Governors Island. Chicago is third, thanks to Mayor Richard M. Daley’s expansion of the city’s bike lanes and shared trails. Rounding out the magazine’s list are San Diego and San Francisco.
Boston, which perennially ranks near the bottom of most urban bike lists because of its narrow streets and traffic-choked rotaries, received a shout-out from the magazine. With an eye toward luring more cycling visitors, Mayor Thomas Menino recently installed 15 miles of new bike lanes and handed out 40,000 cycling maps. “Boston is known as a walking city,’” said Nicole Freedman, the city’s newly appointed “bike czar.” “Now we are fast on our way to being known as a biking city.”
Bicycle tourism is good for local economies, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. The study found that nonresident bicyclists generated over $535 million in annual revenue for Wisconsin.