Montreal Ranked #11 Best Bike City in the World (Top Western Hemisphere City)
This year the Copenhagen Index evaluated 150 cities for qualities including bicycle advocacy, gender split, and infrastructure. Beating many other top contenders, Montreal was ranked the most bike friendly city in North America. It was also the only city in Canada and the USA that made it into the top 14, coming in at #11 internationally.
Montreal saw it’s first bike paths as early as 1980, and now boasts 589 km of paths. Cyclo-toursim plays a role in the local economy as outfits like Fitz & Follwell give tourists a chance to experience Montreal bike culture through guided biking tours.
In 2008 Montreal pioneered a new public bike sharing system known as Bixi. The model has worked so well that it’s now being adopted by cities all over the world including Boston, Melbourne, London, Toronto, New York and Washington, D.C.. The systems are all fabricated in Montreal and then sold worldwide, making it simple for other cities to become bike friendly as well.
Additionally, city residents don’t just use their bikes to get to work and back, biking is part of a broader culture. Events like Friction Montreal showcase bike friendly artists creating instruments from bike parts, and the annual Tour de l’Île race features a 100km ride, opening many main roads to cyclists for the event. Artisans like Rose Pedals create earrings out of used bike parts, and community bicycle Co-ops throughout the city allow cyclists to share tools and resources to keep their bikes in tune. Montrealers like to have their fun as well; this year they participated in the World Naked Bike Ride for the 9th time.
Perhaps next year the city will climb even higher in the ranks. For now it’s amazing to be featured so close to the top! Here’s how the rest of the world stacked up: