Five Best US Airports for Cyclists

 

The opening of RTD’s rapid transit line to Denver International Airport is just a month out now.  Come late April, it will be possible to cycle to an A line station, board a train with your bicycle, park it at DIA and have it waiting when you return from your trip.

I can already do this in Salt Lake City.  Utah’s hub airport is one of America’s best for bicyclists.  Not only can I take the train, I can actually ride all the way from my home in Ogden right up to the covered bicycle parking shed next to Terminal One.

In fact, it’s so easy to cycle to SLC that I started wondering what other US airports provide access to those of us who prefer two non-motorized wheels.  Turns out there’s more than a few.  Here are the best of the best.

Mineta-San Jose International (CA)

Not far from Silicon Valley, Mineta San Jose has rolled out the welcome mat for cyclists.  There’s direct cycletrack access to the terminals as well as bicycle parking at both Terminal A and B.  The airport encourages cyclists to combine their trips with VTA Airport Flyer (#10) bus service that connects the airport to both light rail and the Santa Clara train station. It’s a free connection.  You’ll find everything you need to know at the airport’s bicycle and pedestrian website.

It's never been easier to find the way to San Jose, especially if you're going by bicycle.

It’s never been easier to find the way to San Jose, especially if you’re going by bicycle. Photo-Google.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 7.18.26 PM

A bi-direction protected cycletrack goes directly to the terminals at Mineta-San Jose. Photo-Google

Portland International (OR)

You’d expect a city as bicycle friendly as Portland to provide airport access and the City of Roses does not disappoint.  PDX is easily accessible by bicycle-friendly MAX trains as well as directly by bike.  You can even access the state of Washington via a protected cycletrack in the median of the Interstate 205 bridge over the Columbia River.  Check out the airport’s bicycle resources page for more information about parking and the best routes.

PDX is virtually surrounded by bicycle routes.

PDX is virtually surrounded by bicycle routes.  Photo-Google.

Washington, anyone?  Access is easy via protected cycleway down the median of Interstate 205 as it crosses the mighty Columbia River. Photo by Steve Morgan.

Washington, anyone? Access is easy via protected cycleway down the median of Interstate 205 as it crosses the mighty Columbia River. Photo by Steve Morgan.

Reagan Washington National (VA)

The nation’s capitol is a great bicycling city and if your travels allow you to fly through Reagan National instead of Dulles, you can easily access your flight on two wheels via the Mount Vernon Trail.  Reagan National has six separate parking areas for cyclists, so you won’t have far to walk.  Click here for more information.

There's a spur off the Mt. Vernon Trail that provides a direct link between Reagan Washington National and the Capitol Mall.

There’s a spur off the Mt. Vernon Trail that provides a direct link between Reagan Washington National and the Capitol Mall.  Photo-Google.

The Mt. Vernon Trail at Reagan airport.

The Mt. Vernon Trail at Reagan airport.  Photo-Google.

Salt Lake City International (UT)

I’m a little biased here since this is my home base now, but I love SLC.  You can access the airport via bicycle-friendly TRAX trains or you can ride right up to the terminal on lightly traveled N 3700 W.  The road is marked with sharrows.  I especially like the fact that there’s covered bicycle parking that includes 7/24 video monitoring.   Like all bicycle-friendly airports, SLC has a bicycle website. You can access it here.

SLC is accessible via the airport bicycle trail.  Photo-Google.

SLC is an easy ride from downtown or the University of Utah campus. Photo-Google.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 7.09.56 PM

You can cycle right up to the terminal at SLC from just about anywhere along the Wasatch Front. The bicycle parking shed is visible just to the right of the TRAX light rail train. Photo-Google.

More than a few Utahans cycle to SLC.

More than a few Utahans cycle to SLC.  They’re going to have to add racks and additional space soon.

San Francisco International (CA)

SFO is California’s second bicycle friendly airport on the list and it’s easy to see why.  There’s direct bicycle access to the terminal complex via McDonnell Road and an extensive network of bicycle friendly routes connecting the airport to both the city and Silicon Valley.  SFO has multiple parking choices for cyclists including both the domestic and international terminals as well as the Westfield Garage and the rental car center.  Here’s a link to the airport’s bicycling website.

From SFO, you can cycle north to the city or south to the Valley.

From SFO, you can cycle north to the city or south to the Valley. Photo-Google.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 7.05.22 PM

Bike lanes head right into the terminal complex at SFO.  Photo-Google.

Omaha’s Eppley Field gets an honorable mention since it’s just minutes from the city’s revitalized Missouri riverfront.  I recently spoke with B-Cycle officials in Omaha who confirmed that a bikeshare station at Eppley is in the works.  Stay tuned for updates.

In the meantime, please let me know if I missed your favorite bicycle friendly airport. I’ll be sure to update it in a future post.  Have a great weekend!  Enjoy the ride.

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2 thoughts on “Five Best US Airports for Cyclists

  1. Nice article. I’m surprised at the number of people that ride to these airports – what a great thing! I’m afraid the airports not on your list have a lot of catching up to do.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Bill. So much of my move to SLC was based on the ability to cycle rather than drive but I never dreamed it would be so easy to cycle right up the airport! I hope you have a great day!

    Like

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