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Best Cities For Urban Cyclists

Bicycling in the cityThree cities to consider for those commuting with bicycles.

Jan Hoffman of the New York Times wrote last Friday about the benefits of pedaling around the city instead of speeding up the accelerator on your way to work. Biking obviously saves gas, and not only reduces road congestions and carbon emissions but the rider’s body fat as well. So when pump prices of oil hit record highs last month, a growing population of urbanites in the country put back their rubber shoes and rode their bikes to work, moving past stranded cars and trucks in heavy traffic.

Potential homebuyers wishing to move to biker-friendly cities have a number of options around the country. Here are my personal choices.

Portland

What’s so good: The Bicycle Friendly Community Organization (BFCO) recognizes this city’s effort to provide bike lanes and trails to riders. City officials have set up measures to avoid bike-related accidents in The Rose City. Its urban planners have well thought out the burgeoning commercial and residential communities by giving priorities to bikers hitting the streets. The city hosts the Bicycle Community Challenge to encourage more people to ride their bikes.

What’s not so good: Some areas can be too crowded for bikers during weekends and holidays.

Where to buy a home: Met area

Santa Barbara

What’s so good: Residents enjoy the city’s assistance to bikers. Great weather, smooth bike lanes and secure bike parking spaces make it one of the places to settle in California for riders. Safety and functionality are never compromised. BFCO cites the Shoreline Bikeway as its major accomplishment.

What’s not so good: Rumors of city revenue cuts may limit additional funding for improvements and maintenance in public facilities.

Where to buy a home: Santa Barbara County and Montecito

Chicago

What’s so good: Wide streets, sunny atmosphere and a large community of cyclists are in Windy City. You can meet other enthusiasts at Daley Plaza any time of the day. The McDonald’s Cycle Center in Millennium Park provides unparalleled service to riders with bike rentals, repair and parking and even showers and lockers. Bike camps and other events are promoted by the city to invite more cyclists to come to the area. Bicycling Magazine lists Chicago as one of the Greatest Cities for Cycling along with Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Boulder.

What’s not so good: High-cost mortgages when buying a house might discourage median and below-median income earners.

Where to buy a home: South and Western suburbs

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