Bicycle Friendly Communities Announced for 2015

PRESS RELEASE — On November 16, the League of American Bicyclists announced 55 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). Eighteen communities received their first BFC award, 17 at Bronze and one (Hennepin County, Minnesota) at Silver. Nine communities moved up to higher award levels and the remainder renewed at their previous level.

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The new, 2015 awardees join a leading group of 371 communities in all 50 states that are improving health, safety and quality of life in cities and towns nationwide. With this new round, 72 million people live in a Bicycle Friendly Community.

The League’s BFC program provides a roadmap to improve conditions for bicycling and the guidance to make your distinct vision for a better, bikeable community a reality. A BFC welcomes bicyclists by providing safe accommodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life.

This latest round saw strong growth in the top tiers of the program, as Madison, Wisconsin, became the fifth Platinum BFC, joining Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado; Davis, California; and Portland. Madison is the first new Platinum since 2013. Four communities moved into the Gold tier: Austin, Texas; San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruz, California; and Tempe, Arizona. There are now 24 Gold Bicycle Friendly Communities.

The growth of the BFC program demonstrates that communities of all sizes and sorts are harnessing the value of bicycling in cultivating healthy citizens and a healthy, growing economy. The Fall 2015 class of new BFCs includes Brownsville, Texas, a border city frequently cited among the poorest in the U.S. Monona, Wisconsin, is the smallest of the new BFCs with a population of just 7,533; Hennepin County, Minnesota, is the largest with a population of 1.2 million.

Since the program’s inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied for BFC status. Communities complete a 100+ question application, which is then reviewed by national experts as well as members of their local cycling community. All applicants receive extensive feedback. Communities must renew their designation every four years.

Read more about the attributes of a Bicycle Friendly Community.

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