November 2013

America’s Suburbs Become More Bike Friendly

A family riding bicyclesA family riding bicycles

A family riding bicycles
A family rides their bikes in a suburban area of southern California.

People have been working for years to make big cities safer for riding bicycles. Now, many people in the suburbs are also making their communities more bike friendly. A “suburb” is a town or small city that is near a large city. Making a place bike friendly helps bring more visitors to a community. It also makes more people want to live there.

Each year, a group called the League of American Bicyclists gives ratings to bike-friendly towns and cities. The league puts those places on a special Bicycle Friendly Community honors list. The list gives communities bronze, silver, gold, or platinum ratings based on how bike friendly they are.

This year, many suburbs made the Bicycle Friendly Community list for the first time. Montclair, New Jersey, and Elmhurst, Illinois, were given bronze ratings for making bicycling safer in their communities. In Elmhurst, many children are riding their bikes to school. The town created more safe bike routes in the community. It also put in hundreds of extra bike racks at local schools.

The suburb of Menlo Park, California, moved from a bronze to a silver rating this year. Workers have added miles of bike lanes to the town’s roads. The number of people there who ride their bikes to school or work has doubled. Menlo Park and other bike-friendly suburbs are making bicycling better and safer for millions of Americans.

Image credit: ©Martin Sundberg/Corbis
Question 1
What is a suburb?

Question 2
What bike-friendly rating did Menlo Park, California, get this year?

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