For the fifth consecutive year, the League of American Bicyclists named Washington No. 1 “Bicycle-Friendly State” in the country. The announcement comes as Washington celebrates National Bike Month in May and encourages bicycling to work, on errands and for recreation.

 “With support from the highest levels of government, (Washington) leads the nation in creating new bicycle infrastructure and using federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects,” according to the league.

 Studies show that dedicated trails and bicycle facilities significantly increases the number of bicyclists and reduces the risk of collisions, especially in urban areas. Based on U.S. census data, bicycling in Washington has increased by 116 percent during the past 10 years. As part of our state’s efforts to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety, during the 2011-2013 budget period the state Legislature funded 25 bicycle and pedestrian projects worth $9.8 million.

 For 2010, the most recent data available, Washington was ninth highest in the nation for bicycle safety and our bicycle fatality crash rate was 0.89 bicyclists per 1,000,000 – the lowest in the state’s recorded history. (DOT)