Do great cities for biking equal great cities for basketball?
It’s down to the Sweet-Sixteen in the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament, but how do the towns stack up when it comes to bike infrastructure? We’re predicting the outcomes of our favorite match-ups.
Here’s how our ratings work: we rank cities based on five factors — Ridership, Safety, Network, Acceleration and Reach. These game outcome predictions are based entirely on City Ratings.
Raleigh, NC (University of North Carolina): 2.6
Iowa City, IA (University of Iowa): 2.0
While Iowa City shows significant promise, with a decently connected network and a Reach score of 3.0, Raleigh will prove that sometimes, speed is everything. With a slew of new infrastructure projects, Raleigh’s Acceleration score of 3.8 puts it 10th overall in our entire database. Iowa City will make this game worth watching, but in the end, the PlacesForBikes City Ratings prediction: North Carolina advances.
Louisville, KY (University of Louisville): 2.4
Bend, OR (Oregon State): 2.0
(Note: while we are aware that most sports at Oregon State are played at their main campus in Corvallis, we don’t have enough data from that city, so we used Bend — one of OSU’s other campuses — for this match-up)
Bend is doing important work to get a variety of people on bikes, which makes us really want to root for this underdog. They certainly have Louisville beat when it comes to Reach, with a score of 2.9 over Louisville’s 1.7. These towns are pretty evenly matched when it comes to their Network. At the end of the game, though, the PlacesForBikes City Ratings prediction: Louisville over Bend, 2.4 to 2.0.
Springfield, MO (University of Missouri): 2.7
Stanford, CA (Stanford): 2.4
This will be an impressive match-up! The Palo Alto area of California scores high on Ridership, Network, and Reach — it sure seems like a nice place to be on a bike. But Springfield prevails when it comes to Acceleration. The take-away for this round in the tournament seems to be that speed matters. The Acceleration score assesses how quickly a community is improving its biking infrastructure and how successful its encouragement programs are at getting people to ride. The PlacesForBikes City Ratings prediction: Missouri State over Stanford.
Brookings, SD (South Dakota State): 1.9
Eugene, OR (University of Oregon): 1.9
Finally, another match-up that’s too close to call. Brookings, SD might not sound like a great place to ride a bike, but they’ve been recognized as a Bronze Bicycling Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. They’ve also got a pretty complete bicycling master plan. At the same time, Eugene is currently working to strengthen their low-stress network by lowering their speed limits, which is something that’s worth cheering for. This game will certainly come down to the very last seconds.
Stay-tuned to see our Final-Four predictions!