Walk Score Logo
Locate me

Bike Score®

Our Bike Score service measures whether a location is good for biking on a scale from 0 - 100 based on four equally weighted components:

  • Bike lanes
  • Hills
  • Destinations and road connectivity
  • Bike commuting mode share

Like Walk Score and Transit Score, our goal with Bike Score is to provide an easy way to evaluate bikeability at a specific location. Bike Score can be used by people looking for a bikeable place to live or urban planners looking to do research on bikeability.

If you'd like to use Bike Score data, see our data services.

Bike Score Description
90–100 Biker's Paradise
Daily errands can be accomplished on a bike.
70–89 Very Bikeable
Biking is convenient for most trips.
50–69 Bikeable
Some bike infrastructure.
0–49 Somewhat Bikeable
Minimal bike infrastructure.

Bike Lane Score

Portland Bike Infrastructure

Bike Lane Score Portland

The Bike Lane Score is based on bike lane infrastructure from Open Street map. Bike lane infrastructure currently includes all on and off street bike lanes/paths but does not include infrastructure such as bike parking, bike sharing, etc.

We process Open Street Map features into three different types of features: bike paths, bike lanes and shared infrastructure (e.g. sharrows). For a given location, we sum up the length of all nearby bike lanes. We apply a distance decay function to each segment, where no value is given to segments further than 1,000 meters from the origin. We weight bike paths 2X as valuable as bike lanes and 3X as valuable as shared infrastructure. This creates a raw value that we normalize to a score between 0 - 100 based on an average of the highest Bike Lane Scores that we sampled.

Hill Score

Portland Elevation

Portland Hill Score

To calculate the "hilliness" of an area we look at the steepest grade within a 200 meter radius of the origin. A grade of 10% - 2% is given a score of 0 - 100. Our data source is the National Elevation Data set from the USGS.

Destinations and Connectivity

To measure destinations and road connectivity we use a modified version of Walk Score which measures the network distances to a diverse set of amenities and calculates connectivity metrics such as average block length and intersection density.

Bicycle Mode Share

Portland bicycle mode share map

Portland Bike Mode Share Score

Portland Bike Score

Portland Bike Score

Initially, we planned to include only the three previous components in Bike Score (bike lanes, hills, and destinations + connectivity). However, looking only at these components doesn't account for the number of bikers in a city like Portland, OR vs. other cities with similar infrastructure scores.

Biking is social. Many biking experts argue that there is a strong social component to biking. The "safety in numbers" research indicates that more bikers on the road makes drivers more aware of bikers—and more drivers have had the experience of biking. We believe as more people in your social network bike, there's a stronger chance that you will bike.

Bike infrastructure is important, but it's not the whole story. From 2007-2010 a lawsuit prevented the city of San Francisco from adding any new bike infrastructure—and yet cycling grew faster than any other mode share. Also, a slow residential street with no bike infrastructure can be better for biking than a high-volume fast street with a bike lane.

We decided to add a fourth component to Bike Score, bike commuting mode share from the US Census, to try to capture some of this social component. We create a 1 km moving window over the census tract level data and normalize bicycle mode share from 0 - 10% to a score between 0 - 100.

The Bike Score methodology is based on thousands of votes from the Walk Score community and expert advice from Professor Meghan Winters at Simon Fraser University, Professor Michael Brauer and Professor Kay Teschke at the University of British Columbia. A portion of the Bike Score methodology was developed with a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Bike Score team

Bike Score: Built by bikers, for bikers!

Data from Bikes Belong

bike benefites inforgraphic