Traverse City, Grand Haven, and Marquette ranked top three Michigan cities for bicycling

What’s happening: This year’s rankings of the Best Places to Bike from bicycle industry and advocacy group PeopleForBikes have been released, and it’s the state’s smaller and more rural communities that are leading the peloton in Michigan. It’s the seventh annual release of the organization’s City Rankings, a data-driven set generated by the group’s Bicycle Network Analysis software that analyzes cities and the quality of their bike networks.

Top town: Traverse City takes home the title as Michigan’s best city for bicyclists, with Grand Haven and Marquette coming in second and third, respectively. Rounding out the top ten, in order, are Musekgon, Rochester, Hillman, Chelsea, Ferndale, Portage, and Detroit. It should be noted that while Detroit comes in tenth within Michigan itself, the state’s largest city did quite well on the national stage, where it also came in tenth among all U.S. cities in the Large City category.

How it works: PeopleForBikes and its Bicycle Network Analysis software weigh six factors in determining a city’s score, which is released on a scale of 0 to 100. Those include Safe Speeds, Protected Bike Lanes, Reallocated Space, Intersection Treatments, Network Connections, and Trusted Data – or SPRINT, as the acronym goes.

Traverse City, for example, received a score of 65, just missing the national top 10 in the Small City category; Mifflinburg, PA, received a 69 score in that category, good enough for tenth place. And for reference within the same category, Provincetown, MA, took home the top score at 88.

Multimodal: True to their ranking, Traverse City has demonstrated a commitment to bolstering its bicycling infrastructure through the development of its forthcoming Mobility Action Plan, incorporating non-motorized infrastructure planning into its mobility strategy. A draft bike and mobility plan was reviewed at a public input session in March 2023, with an updated version incorporating those public comments expected to be released this fall.

Click HERE to view the first draft of the Traverse City Mobility Network Map.

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