Author Topic: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.  (Read 5058 times)

unitasking

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Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« on: February 12, 2014, 07:39:31 AM »
We are evaluating what city to relocate to, which cities do fellow Mustachians think are the best?

Our criteria are:
-Smaller Size Town/City (<200K People)
-Very Bikable and walkable
-Temperate climate
-Tech scene of some sort
-Affordable (I know this is subjective, so let's say Longmont is the benchmark)
- Good place to raise kids

Love to hear your feedback

markstache

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 01:12:41 PM »
I'd suggest you look at towns with universities. My location of Urbana, Illinois meets most of your criteria other than temperate. The need for a small area with a tech scene might be hard to accommodate in general, but a university can have a draw for tech companies and provide a regular seminar series. It can also provide more arts and activities than the town size might otherwise support.

Here's a list from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_college_towns#College_towns_in_the_United_States

I'd say pick some states and then look at the towns.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 01:35:10 PM »
 Start here..You can always live in the burbs around some of these

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11954286/1/10-most-bikeable-us-cities.html 


all but 1 i believe is under 200k of people
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 01:38:05 PM by soccerluvof4 »

daverobev

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 01:37:46 PM »
Depends what you mean by temperate - according to this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_map_indicating_tropics_and_subtropics.png

the northern 3/4 of the US would count! Do you have specific climate preferences, or just not too hot?

unitasking

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 02:01:33 PM »
You are right "temperate" is a subjective term, I have blacked out the states that are too cold for me in the image.

lackofstache

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 02:05:42 PM »
Chattanooga is an amazing city.

Beaker

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 02:10:46 PM »
You've got some good reading suggestions. I'll just throw in my own personal opinion: Denver's nice.

-Smaller Size Town/City (<200K People)
Seems about right, I haven't checked. But the downtown is very compact - you can walk across it easily - so it feels small if you ignore the surrounding sprawl. If you include the metro area it's quite a bit bigger than this.

-Very Bikable and walkable
If you live near the downtown area there are a lot of bike lanes and bike-friendly streets. There's also a big push for more biking/walking infrastructure. We have a decent shared-bike program (http://denver.bcycle.org)

-Temperate climate
300 days of sunshine each year. It's 50 degrees here today. Of course, last week was a high of 17, but it's generally quite nice, even in the winter. It can get a bit hot in the summer, but I haven't owned an air conditioner in 9 years so it can't be too bad.

-Tech scene of some sort
Good and getting better. I'm in software, so I have a pretty close view of that. The startup software scene in particular is good, due to various incubators and funds that are out of Boulder. There's also a fair amount of telecom and some aerospace/defense type stuff.

-Affordable (I know this is subjective, so let's say Longmont is the benchmark)
You can look up a cost-of-living index to make this objective rather than subjective. Longmont is a suburb of Denver (sort of, you could say it's a suburb of Boulder).

- Good place to raise kids
I'd say this is more subjective, and I don't have kids so I won't comment.

The above could apply pretty well to lots of other places in the immediate area, with various changes. eg, Boulder is more bike friendly but way more expensive. But if you move out to the suburbs, that can be a very different beast (except for the climate, of course).

offroad

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2014, 07:22:15 AM »
Charleston SC is great too.  Pirate history of tolerance (seriously); five beachs within half hour, and a couple you can surf at.  Good schools.  Low cost of living (my son rents and lives off $15k a year).  Dolphins and shrimp in the harbor.  Cruise ship destination. 
 

daverobev

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2014, 08:24:36 AM »
You are right "temperate" is a subjective term, I have blacked out the states that are too cold for me in the image.

Well.. based on that map, I'd say.. How 'bout Alaska? ;)

Honestly - wouldn't southern FL or TX, etc, be too *hot*? They are certainly *not* temperate, anyway!

Good luck either way. It is a freedom I wish I had (best Canada can do - and I mean 'best' in my British 'oh fork it's cold outside today' kinda way - is Vancouver..)

Embers

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 08:25:43 AM »
Quote
Charleston SC is great too.  Pirate history of tolerance (seriously); five beachs within half hour, and a couple you can surf at.  Good schools.  Low cost of living (my son rents and lives off $15k a year).  Dolphins and shrimp in the harbor.  Cruise ship destination.

I lived in Charleston about 6 years ago. It reminds me a lot of a really clean New Orleans. I do recall seeing a lot of folks on bikes.

darkadams00

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2014, 09:31:21 AM »
I chose Raleigh/Durham area of NC for following reasons: 1) various tech jobs 2) two good local state universities for children, depending on desired majors (Duke is not a reasonable option for most folks looking for FI/RE) 3) bike/fitness/recreation focused population in many areas, i.e. few issues with car/bike interactions 4) moderate cost of living 5) very bikeable if home/work/school selections are made with that intent (I can easily bike over 3000 miles per year to work, errands, recreation, etc (less if I want)). My wife is not "athletic" or comfortable on busy roads, but she rides a town bike anywhere within 7 miles of home. Then she jumps over on her hybrid bike. 6) temperate climate, e.g. current snow storm is an outlier. Summer humidity, however, is very real here.

Full disclosure, I have one teen son at home, my wife and I both work full-time right now, and we're a one-car family with several interests. This is not Soho or 90210, and that's perfectly okay with us.

kudy

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 09:47:23 AM »
Ft Collins, CO :)

pdxvandal

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2014, 12:58:17 PM »
Eugene or Corvallis, Oregon.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Rankings of Affordable - Bikable Cities in the U.S.
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 03:16:53 PM »
I live in the snow belt, but I'd second various areas of Colorado based on the sunny climate where you still get 4 full seasons.

I enjoyed the hell out of Chattanooga when my brother lived in the area.

The Carolinas are nice as well, though I'm more familiar with the western sides of both states.

Like as not, the job market will make the final decision, but I'd +1 all of the recommendations so far.