The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago Is Sixth On Walk Score List Of 'Bikeable' Cities

By Rachel Cromidas in News on May 14, 2015 6:15PM

The Kinzie Street protected bike lane: the one that started them all. (Photo Credit: Josh Koonce)

City Hall has been on a mission to make Chicago America's most "bike-friendly" city since Mayor Rahm Emanuel first took office. But with our pothole-pocked streets and problems with bicyclist doorings, crashes and fatalities, how close the city has come to that goal is a matter of opinion.

With City Hall on the cusp of achieving its goal of creating 100 miles of protected bike lanes across the city this year, the neighborhood data website Walk Score has ranked Chicago sixth on a new list of the country's most bike-friendly cities.

Walk Score published the list after expanding its Bike Score rankings system to include 154 U.S. cities, and ranked 20 cities with populations of 300,000 or more. Minneapolis topped the list with a score of 81.3, followed by San Francisco, Portland, Denver and Boston, which beat out Chicago by a tenth of a point. Chicago scored 70.2.

College-town Cambridge, Massachusetts received the highest score of all cities ranked but didn't make the list due to its small population size, with a score of 92.8. Chicago's Bike Score increased by nearly nine points since Walk Score last ranked it in 2013, thanks in part to the Divvy bike share expansion and the additional bike lanes the city has created. Chicago was ranked 10th on the 2013 list, right behind New York City, which fell to 12th place this time. Those rankings contrast with Bicycling Magazine's biennial rankings, which last year named Chicago #2 for bike-friendliness, right behind New York City.

The main factors used to evaluate a city's Bike Score include the number of bike lanes and hills, the share of local commuters who travel by bicycle and the connectivity of the roads and lanes between major destinations.