With women making up 67.5 percent of its bicycle commuters, the city of Spokane Valley is ranked first of eight communities identified as "Top Cities for Women Bicyclists" by The League of American Bicyclists. The ranking is also based on Spokane Valley's higher than average bicycle commuter rate of 1.1 percent, which is almost twice the national average of .6 percent.
"This recognition is valuable to our city," said Mayor Tom Towey, "especially as more and more of our population are interested in bicycling not just for commuting but for its health and economic benefits, too."
Towey is himself a bicyclist who enjoys riding around Spokane Valley.
Spokane Valley's top ranking was cited in TLAB's report "Where We Ride: An Analysis of Bicycling in American Cities."
Data for the report was gleaned from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey for 2012, which includes statistics on commuting habits.
Towey noted that the results validate the city's efforts on its Bike and Pedestrian Master Program. Developed in collaboration with community members, the plan includes an inventory of the city's existing bicycle network and recommendations for future enhancements. Currently, there are about 76 miles of bike lanes and recommended bike friendly routes as well as 9 miles of pedestrian/bicyclist shared use pathways.
The city is also working on a bicycle tourism map of Spokane Valley that is anticipated for release around the end of the year.
Founded in 1880, TLAB's mission is "to promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America." It is a national organization with 300,000 affiliated member cyclists.
More information about Spokane Valley's Bike and Pedestrian Master Program is available at spokanevalley.org/BPMP. Copies are also available at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Avenue, Suite 106.