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Lessons From the Best Biking Cities

City of Manchester, NW


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Population: 323,421 | Median Home Price: $342,592

In 2018, Greater Manchester launched an ambitious, citywide “Bee Lines” initiative — a £1.5 billion plan to create 1,800 miles of bicycling and walking routes alongside 2,400 new crossings connecting every neighborhood, school, main street, and public transport hub. The goal of this 10-year project, which received a refresh in 2021, is to make multi-modal travel in the city attractive, safe, and seamless.

Since the project began, Manchester launched its own bike share initiative, with 450 bikes available at 1,000 hubs throughout three of the city’s 10 boroughs and plans for expansion. There’s an incredibly welcoming bicycling scene in Greater Manchester for those who ride bikes for fun — whether on roads, trails, parks, or at a velodrome — with nearby options in the Lake District and the Peak District, as well as a BMX track and mountain biking trails for people of all abilities.

Manchester’s focus is on inclusivity of travel with the goal of creating bicycle paths that are deemed safe enough for a 12-year-old to ride (getting children on bikes is a key goal). With the introduction of more than 60 miles of active travel routes, plus the UK’s first Cycle Optimised Protected Signals (CYCLOPS) junction and 14 more planned, Manchester hopes to transform infrastructure in its bustling, musical, forever-innovative, sports-mad, and student-filled city.


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