On the national stage, Texas is known for having an active and populous cycling community. Despite this, Texas has recently taken a step backwards in bicycle friendliness compared with other states. In national rankings released earlier this month by the League of American Bicyclists, Texas fell sharply. Texas dropped 11 spots since last year to number 33 in its 2014 report card, which ranks state cycling policies. Previously, Texas had consistently increased its ranking since 2010.
You can see the State’s rankings page here: BFS2014_Texas
The League significantly bases its rankings on the number of best practices that a state follows. Texas follows four of the enumerated 10 best practices. Notably, Texas lacked several best practices that are known to decrease the amount of bike accidents. These deficiencies include a statewide three-foot passing law or “Complete Streets” policy that requires planners to consider both bicyclists and pedestrians in most road projects. Nevertheless, the League credited Texas for having both a strong cycling advocacy group as well as a Share the Road campaign.
From the perspective of a Texas bicycle law attorney, the League’s Texas report card for 2014 sends a glaring message. As Bike Law lawyers who represent injured cyclists as well as bicyclists ourselves, this year’s downgraded ranking confirms that we must continue to advocate for stronger policies that will decrease the number of motorist-versus-bicyclist accidents.