Lonely Planet Writer

These are the safest - and most dangerous - US cities for cyclists

With the Tour de France underway, people all over the world are no doubt eagerly watching one of cycling’s most engaging spectacles. And while top class athletes make their way across France, in other countries, countless enthusiasts will be taking trips of their own, whether it’s a daily journey to work or weekend excursions. With that in mind, a brand new study has been released that reveals the safest (and most dangerous) cities in the United States for cyclists, with the information proving helpful to anyone that might be planning a trip there.

A unique angle of two women riding their bikes down the bike path on the beach. This rig shot gives a sense of speed and a fresh perspective on cycling.
California dominated the list of safest cities for cyclists. Image by Maxwell Frank

Released by Your Local Security, the study ranked cities based on various factors, including number of bike commuters, number of protected bike lanes, street laws, number of fatal crashes, proposed planning for more bike lanes and safe passing laws. Information was also gathered from sources such as the National Highway Safety Administration, People for Bikes and The League of American Bicyclists, and a total of 790 cities were ranked based on their overall scores.

The top ten safest cities in the United States for cyclists. Image by Your Local Security

Interestingly, the safest (Davis) and most dangerous (Los Angeles) cities were both in California, the former taking the top spot thanks to careful city planning and bicycle safety education. In fact, most of the top 10 safest cities in the United States were in California, with Palo Alto, Berkeley, Chico, Mountain View and Santa Barbara all being included.

Iowa dominated the majority of least-safe cities for cyclists (despite the fact that the popular Ragbrai biking event is hosted there), with five cities in the top ten most dangerous list. The list also included New York City in second position, Webster City in third and Jamestown, North Dakota in fourth.

The top ten most dangerous cities in the United States for cyclists. Image by Your Local Security

The report also revealed that 7% of all residents in Missoula, Montana use cycling as their main method of transportation to get to work, while 36 cities in different states with no protected bike lanes are currently working on introducing them.

10 safest cities:

  1. Davis, California
  2. Berkeley, California
  3. Boulder, Colorado
  4. Eugene, Oregon
  5. Palo Alto, California
  6. Chico, California
  7. Mountain View, California
  8. Fort Collins, Colorado
  9. Santa Barbara, California
  10. New Haven, Connecticut

10 most dangerous cities:

  1. Los Angeles, California
  2. New York City, New York
  3. Webster City, Iowa
  4. Jamestown, North Dakota
  5. Fargo, North Dakota
  6. Houston, Texas
  7. Waterloo, Iowa
  8. Sioux City, Iowa
  9. Johnston, Iowa
  10. Des Moines, Iowa