The study, from People For Bikes, an advocacy group based in Boulder, Colorado, looked at cities in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe, and found that five of the top 10 cities for bicycling are in the Netherlands, and all but one — Provincetown, Massachusetts — are in Europe.

How did Evanston do? Well, we scored in the 19th percentile — ranking 619th of 767 cities studied.

Cyclists on Greenleaf Street at Elmwood Avenue this afternoon.

We scored way below average on the quality of our bicycle network getting just a 7 of a possible 100 points. The average score for all cities was 26.

The network score counts for 80 percent of the overall grade in the study. It looks at how easily cyclists can get to jobs and schools, hospitals and grocery stores, shopping centers and transit hubs on what the study defines as low stress routes — either streets with speed limits of 25 miles per hour or less or busier streets with protected bike lanes.

A map accompanying the study indicates that most of Evanston’s side streets are low strees — but almost all of our through streets are high stress — with the exception of a stretch of Sheridan Road along the Northwestern University campus that has protected bike lanes and portions of Dodge Avenue that also have protected bike lanes.

Cyclists on Greenleaf Street near Wesley Avenue this afternoon.

Where we came in above average was on what the study called the community score — evaluating how familiar people are with local bike resources, how often people ride bikes, whether the bike network lets them get to where they want to go and how safe people feel riding a bike in the city. There Evanston got 59 of a possible 100 points. The average for all cities was a 48.

A graph comparing Evanston’s community scores to the average community.

The shared street test on Greenleaf is scheduled to continue through Aug. 16.

Related story

Evanston ‘shared street’ test starts Monday (7/15/21)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.