MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota has been ranked the second most bicycle-friendly state in the United States, the League of American Bicyclists announced Thursday.

With nearly half of Minnesotans riding a bike last year, it’s not surprising Minnesota has been ranked within the top five since 2008.

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“This ranking is recognition of the work on behalf of bicycling being done by both the public and private sectors throughout the state,” said Dorian Grilley, executive director, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. “It is not only because of the good work that is being done by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, but because the Department of Health, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Department of Natural Resources, other public agencies, local governments and many of our state’s businesses, both big and small, are all engaged in making bicycling better in Minnesota.”

The ranking is based on key indicators, including safe places to bike, promotion of cycling and bicycle-friendly laws.

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“We are excited and encouraged to see real progress in states like California, Minnesota and Utah,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “Overall, we still see a lot of opportunity to realize the huge potential of bicycling to promote health, economic development, and quality of life.”

While the ranking is a great acknowledgement, MnDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator says there’s still work to do.

“We can do even better,” Tim Mitchel said. “The best way to continue to improve is to learn from constituents who use the highways, bike lanes and shoulders to bike.”

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Washington remains the top-ranked state for the seventh year in a row.