Fort Collins has bragging rights over Boulder in latest list of best U.S. cycling cities

Fort Collins has bragging rights over Boulder in latest list of best U.S. cycling cities

It’s common knowledge that Boulder is a pretty great place for cyclists, but who would have thought Fort Collins is even better?

PeopleForBikes thinks it is, anyway.

That national foundation dedicated to promoting bike ridership recently amed Fort Collins the No. 1 city in America for cycling. Boulder placed third among the 480 cities on the list.

“We always have a friendly rivalry,” Fort Collins mayor Wade Troxell said of coming out ahead of Boulder. “We both have two wonderful communities, and I think Fort Collins, we’ve always felt that we punch above our weight. We’re a wonderful place to live.”

Boulder mayor Suzanne Jones was magnanimous toward her fitness-crazy town’s northern neighbor.

“I think it’s great that the northern Front Range is recognized as a great place to ride, and happy to be in good company with Fort Collins,” Jones said. “Fort Collins is up and coming, and more power to them. We are a great place to ride, for sure, and we’re proud of that, but glad that other communities are joining us in having more livable communities. They’re doing a lot of great things. I’m happy for them.”

Troxler said Fort Collins has actively sought to make cycling part of its branding, along with craft brewing and music.

” ‘Beer, bikes and bands’ is an often-used term to describe what people enjoy about our community,” Troxler said.

PeopleForBikes considered ridership, safety, network, “reach” (how a community’s bike network serves everyone) and acceleration (how quickly a community is improving its cycling infrastructure). Fort Collins ranked high in all categories and ranked No. 1 in safety. Since 2014, Fort Collins has been working at implementing “Low Stress” cycling routes to improve safety and encourage people to ride.

“The way the city was laid out, it’s different than other communities including Boulder and Denver, our streets are wider,” Troxler said. “We’re able to connect the trails, the natural areas, the bike lanes on main arterials, but there (also) is this low-stress network. We have this ‘safe route to everywhere’ concept. You can literally get anywhere in Fort Collins and do it in a low-stress network.”

Colorado Springs was No. 23 on the PeopleForBikes list and Denver ranked 27th.

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