Minneapolis is the only U.S. city on worldwide bike-friendly index

Minneapolis made its debut in the top 20 cities of Copenhagen Design Company's international index.

Credit: Ernesto De Quesada

While Minneapolis has topped a lot of lists in recent memory, it stood out with an 18th-place showing Tuesday on an international index of the world’s most bike-friendly bike cities. 

Minneapolis was the only U.S. city, and one of two in North America (Montreal), in Copenhagenize Design Company’s index of bike-friendly cities. This year was Minneapolis’ debut into the worldwide index put out by the Danish design firm, which ranked 122 cities this year with regional populations over 600,000.

“An impressive — for America — modal share helped push them into the Index and we like the political will coming out of City Hall. A respectable bike share system is helping to cement the bicycle on the transport foundation of the city,” the index says of Minneapolis. “America — often content with baby steps — is in desperate need of leadership cities and Minneapolis has emerged as a contender.”

Minneapolis is the first U.S. city to make the list since the firm increased the number of cities up for consideration in 2013. While it had the lowest score of the top 20 cities based on 13 index parameters, it scored bonus points for its bike-sharing system. San Francisco and New York City placed 17th and 20th in 2011, respectively. 

The firm urged the city to clear its bike paths and lanes during cold months.

“We know Minneapolis is proud of their winter and we love that an American winter city is the one who makes the Top 20,” the firm wrote. “Minneapolis would do well to increase their commitment to protected infrastructure and to focus on making the continent’s best on-street network.”

Copenhagen topped the list this year after competing with Amsterdam for the top spot for several years. 

Mayor Betsy Hodges said the city is “creating year-round bike infrastructure that’s attractive to all residents, from people out for recreation and exercise, to commuters in pursuit of more ways to get to work.”

“Being named the 18th most bike friendly city in the world is a tremendous testament to what we have achieved and a reminder of how far we can go,” she said. “Pedal on, Minneapolis!”

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