By Karen Brooks
The League of American Bicyclists hosted a vibrant and vital National Bike Summit earlier this month in Washington, DC. This year’s theme of “Grass Roots Grow Together” was particularly apt—the current bike-friendliness of national government is uncertain at best, but through workshops, speeches, and lots of positive examples, attendees took away the message that the most powerful changes happen on the local level.
I kicked off my Summit experience with a cool Mobile Workshop—a tour of the University of Maryland via bike share. UMD’s College Park campus has been part of the League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program since 2011, and is currently at the Gold level, part of a select group of only 20 universities to earn this status. The tour was a great example of what making space for bikes can do for a university or town: there’s much less pressure for space for parked cars, students can get to class quickly, and connections to transit options are easier. The UMD program includes an on-campus bike shop, staffed by student workers, that offers basic repairs and accessories. There’s also a recreational aspect, with mountain bikes for rent and group rides on local trails. The best part was the bike share system—23 stations offer handy bikes (and easy parking) throughout campus.
Mealtimes were a chance to meet fellow advocates and find out what’s going on across the country while gleaning valuable nuggets of inspiration and wisdom from keynote speakers. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced a new multi-modal report from the Department of Transportation—this may sound boring, but it’s the first time that this DOT has paid much attention to bicycling. Our favorite “bike-partisan” representative, Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, reminded us that, of transportation choices, cycling has the highest rate of return for investment. Veronica Davis, founder of Black Women Bike DC, told the audience she was heartened to see kids out riding bike-share bikes around the city.
The most valuable session I attended was the last in my schedule, “Creating Representation of Diversity Through Content Creation.” The presenter, Ayesha McGowan, is on a mission to become the first African-American pro road cyclist in the United States, and to inspire other bike riders along the way. (Check out her site, A Quick Brown Fox, for more info). Ms. McGowan led the audience through exercises and taught via examples in what felt more like a graduate-level class than a presentation, designed to lead us to see different ways that an individual’s story can be told and to think about how best to do so without distorting or tokenizing their experiences. Some of the media examples she provided were downright painful, while others seemed OK on the surface until we began to delve deeper into possible implicit biases of the producers.
There is one notable absence at the National Bike Summit, this year as well as others: the bike industry. Aside from a few loyal supporters and sponsors (shoutout to Advanced Sports International, which always has a presence), there are very few bike companies who take the time to attend the Summit, to their detriment. It’s clear that with mini-revolutions like bike share, and communities cooperating to transform into bike-friendly places, people want to ride. But the typical industry stance is to preach the benefits of the next micro-trend product to an ever-shrinking choir, while largely ignoring the crucial work that goes on to ensure that there are places to use a bike. I challenge more bike companies to send people next year ,and promise you’ll learn a lot.Tweet Print
Recently, the League of American Bicyclists announced 65 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) for 2017, making the total 430 BFCs in all 50 states.
The Bicycle Friendly Community program aims to provide a roadmap to improving conditions for cycling and guidance to make bikeable communities a reality. The program identifies 10 Building Blocks that make communities great for cycling, including bike lanes, bicycle education in schools, bicycle advocacy groups, bicycle-friendly laws and community bike events. A full list and description of metrics can be found here.
The Bicycle Friendly Community program started in 1995.
“One of the most amazing things about the Bicycle Friendly Community program is how diverse participating communities are,” said Ken McLeod, Policy Director of the League of American Bicyclists. “This round is a great example of that, with towns as small as 588 people and counties of over 2 million. There are places with no bike lanes, but emerging bike cultures, as well as leading Platinum cities. That all of these communities find value in the program speaks to the breadth of the program and its commitment to being a part of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
As the League’s press release states:
Renewing Platinum BFCs include Portland, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado. One of the aspects that made Portland’s application stand out is its bike commuter benefit program. City employees are eligible for the TRIP program, which pays benefits-eligible employees who walk, bike, or carpool $50 per month for doing so or pays $50 of a discounted monthly transit pass.” Portland has high goals for continuing to grow their biking profile, with an “adopted city policy that calls for 25 percent of all commute trips to be by bike by 2035.”
Several communities were notable for their dedication to enforcing and providing education about their safe passing laws. Renewing Bronze BFC, Portage, Mississippi, has passed an ordinance requiring motor vehicle drivers to give a five-foot buffer when passing cyclists. Bath, Maine, also a renewing Bronze BFC, has taken extra steps to encourage motorists to follow Maine’s 3-foot passing law. Local police and the county sheriff’s department have worked together with the City of Bath Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to create a motorist education program around the law. The sheriff and the police chief were awarded a “Just Do It” commendation by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for the support they have shown bicyclists.
Renewing Bronze BFC, Boca Raton, Florida, is committed to “providing more opportunities for education and outreach to younger riders.” The city has offered a three-week bicycle education program that includes off-bike (pedestrian safety) and on-bike (bicycle riding skills) components. Two out of five of the Boca Raton elementary schools received bike education last year. The other three will receive education within the next few years.
Renewing Silver BFC, Bellingham, Washington, developed a Bicycle Master Plan that created a 170-mile Primary Bicycle Network with “185 individual project recommendations ranging from bike boulevards to buffered bike lanes to cycle tracks on a prioritized list.” The city “strives to provide safe and comfortable bicycle facilities for those ‘interested, but concerned’ about biking on streets with vehicle traffic, but we are also focused on maximizing the connectivity of bicycle facilities throughout the city.”
Renewing Bronze BFC, Northampton, Massachusetts, stood out for the quality of their Complete Streets ordinance. The city also uses “a bicycle trash hauling service to pick up trash in our downtown, both because of the benefits of quiet trash pickup and to promote bicycling.”
New Bronze BFC Ypsilanti, Mississippi, doesn’t stop their encouragement efforts in the winter: “Cold weather bicycling classes are held every November and December at the local library to encourage bicycling all year.” When the city’s only bicycle shop closed, “cyclists banded together to form a volunteer bike repair co-op with regular hours.”
With the announcement of new and renewed BFC awards, over 85 million Americans now live in a League-designated Bicycle Friendly Community. The next opportunity for communities to apply for the BFC award is in February 2018. To apply or learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.Tweet Print
Recently, the League of American Bicyclists announced 46 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFUs), making the total 182 BFUs in 45 states and Washington, DC. Bicycle Friendly Universities are a cutting-edge group of colleges and universities across the United States transforming their campuses and the communities around them.
“From renewing Platinums to brand new Bronzes, this latest class of Bicycle Friendly University awardees show a wonderful commitment to safety, health and sustainability through their efforts to support bicycling on campus,” said Amelia Neptune, Director of the League’s Bicycle Friendly America Program. “We applaud this round of BFUs for raising the standard and being innovative in making bicycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable option for students, staff and visitors alike.”
Two states welcomed their first Bicycle Friendly Universities this round. South Dakota’s Black Hills State University in Spearfish and Rhode Island’s Brown University in Providence both achieved Bronze BFU status.
The University of California, Davis, continues to be one of the most bicycle-friendly campuses in the country, renewing its Platinum BFU status. “The university prohibited car travel through most of the UC Davis campus 50 years ago. Only transit vehicles and the occasional maintenance and delivery vehicles are allowed — and even then, they are only allowed at limited times of the day. All the roads that used to thread in and around the campus are now car-free and are essentially really wide bike paths.”
The University of Montana in Missoula, MT, a renewing Gold BFU, also has a largely car-free campus. As a bonus for this northern site, “most internal bike routes are located on pathways that are incidentally heated by the campus’s steam tunnel network. Internal bike routes do not accumulate snow as a function of this below-ground heat source.”
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln renewed its Silver BFU status. One of the ways that they communicate cycling information is with the League’s Smart Cycling materials. “We have had good success reaching individuals by using the League’s Smart Cycling Quick Guide at tabling events on campus. This has been a great resource to use when you just have a few minutes of interaction but can help share information about the ‘Rules of the Road’ with individuals.”
Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, a new Bronze BFU, found that applying for BFU status was a big step in becoming more bicycle friendly. “The application process has already enhanced the bicycling experience on the Texas State campus. A community of students, faculty, and staff have been connected as result of the application. Bicycling gaps have been identified, and several have been rectified as a result of this application. A BFU designation will continue to provide a roadmap and motivation for future improvements.”
Other universities have also established groups that work to make the bicycling experience better for all cyclists on campus. From the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, which moved from Bronze to Silver BFU status: “For the first time in many years, we have dedicated an entire working group that focuses solely on bicycle resources, infrastructure, education and safety. This group’s collective knowledge and experience in serving campus cyclists will allow the group to more effectively enhance those resources available to cyclists.”
The latest class of Bicycle Friendly Universities will maintain their 2017 awards through 2021, at which time they’ll be required to reapply to the BFU program to either maintain or improve their award status. In addition to the 46 new and renewing awards given this year, four campuses are being recognized as Honorable Mentions in 2017. Campuses that receive no award or Honorable Mention are provided with feedback to improve and encouragement to re-apply to the BFU program after implementing the League’s feedback to earn the Bicycle Friendly University title.
To apply or learn more about the BFU program, visit www.bikeleague.org/university.Tweet Print
The League of American Bicyclists recently announced its 2017 Bicycle Friendly State ranking. This is the ninth iteration of the Bicycle Friendly State ranking (since 2008) and the first since 2015.
From the League:
According to Ken McLeod, Policy Director for the League, “2016 proved an ideal time to re-examine and improve the Bicycle Friendly State program. With the passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in late 2015, it was important to ensure that our Bicycle Friendly State ranking process reflected current federal funding laws and provided a strong basis for state improvements now that federal transportation funding was set until 2020. By working with our stakeholders at state Departments of Transportation and statewide advocacy associations, the 2017 Bicycle Friendly State ranking provides a new level of transparency for policy and programmatic comparisons between states. Our hope is that this ranking will provide important feedback and competition for states as they adjust to the FAST Act and pursue innovative bicycling-related actions that will inform future federal policy.”
The League launched its Bicycle Friendly State program in 2008 in order to better understand state efforts related to bicycling and provide a comparative framework that allows states to easily identify areas of improvement. Through our ranking, we hope that states and the public can easily understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of each state’s efforts related to bicycling. Most of the League’s focus is on the behavior of state Departments of Transportation and state legislators. These two groups are powerful policymakers and implementers who have significant impacts on conditions for bicyclists in each state.
The Bicycle Friendly State ranking seeks to rank each state according to its current conditions and efforts related to bicycling. Each state receives a report card that showcases:
- Federal data on bicycling conditions
- Five Bicycle Friendly Actions chosen by the League of American Bicyclists as important indicators of state efforts related to bicycling
- Rankings and scores in five categories analyzed to create the state’s ranking
- A state summary with key points of emphasis
- Feedback Points that provide guidance on improving the state’s ranking and the safety and mobility of bicyclists within the state.
The Bicycle Friendly State ranking is based upon data drawn from several data sources:
- Bike commuting data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey
- Bicyclist fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System
- Bicycle and Pedestrian spending data from the Federal Highway Administration’s Fiscal Management Information System
- Survey responses from state Departments of Transportation to the combined Bicycle Friendly State & Benchmarking Survey
- Data on advocacy and bicycle-related laws maintained by the League of American Bicyclists.
To learn more about the data on each Bicycle Friendly State Report Card, please reference this Guide that describes the data sources, calculations, and surveys used to create the report cards and rankings. The Guide as well as charts and maps that illustrate the data used to develop the 2017 Bicycle Friendly State rankings can be found by following this link.
What does your state or city do to be more bicycle friendly? Tell us in the comments!Tweet Print
May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated all over the country. National Bike Month was established in 1956 as a way to recognize and showcase the ways in which cycling is beneficial to the environment, our communities and our physical and mental health, and to encourage more people to give biking a try.
National Bike to Work Week takes place within National Bike Month. This year it will be held May 15-19, with National Bike to Work Day taking place on the 19th.
Cities all over the country are hosting Bike to Work Day events. For instance, in the Washington D.C. metro area, there will be over 85 pit stops set up for bicycle commuters with beverages, snacks and prizes. Other cities are offering similar setups, as well as offering free bike share services.
Some areas, such as San Francisco, will be celebrating Bike to Work Day on May 11 instead of the 19th, so double check online to see when there will be an event near you.
Use the hashtag #BTWD to share your experience, and don’t forget to hashtag #bicycletimes and tag us @bicycletimes too!
Need a little extra motivation? Check out our series on overcoming commuting obstacles here.Tweet Print
The League of American Bicyclists and presenting sponsor 3M are excited to announce the sixth annual National Bike Challenge. The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists — and encouraging countless new riders. It is a free and easy way to challenge yourself, your friends and your community members to ride more while competing on a local, state and national level. The Challenge will welcome over 60,000 riders to pedal a combined 30 million miles between May 1 and September 30, 2017 for improved health, fitness and fun!
Challenge participants will use the Strava platform to record their commuting and recreational miles, and statistics and leaderboards will then appear on the new nationalbikechallenge.org site. There is no cost to participants to join, and riders are encouraged to form teams at their workplace or school to motivate their colleagues to log more miles or to start commuting for the first time. Over 70 prizes per month will be given away to participants who log their miles.
According to Bill Nesper, the League’s Deputy Director, Programs and Operations, “The Challenge brings together individuals, businesses, universities and communities to support our goal of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. We are honored to partner with 3M to grow the 2017 Challenge with a new website. We look forward to sharing the stories of how the Challenge encourages new riders and builds community.”
“On behalf of 3M and especially as a biking enthusiast, I’m pleased to be involved with a sponsorship of the 2017 National Bike Challenge,” said Paul Acito, VP and CMO, 3M Marketing-Sales. “The health and wellness of our employees as well as contributing to a more sustainable future are among the great reasons for our involvement.”
Local bicycle advocacy groups, bicycle shops, and all participating teams can use the National Bike Challenge to promote their organization, business or group, while building bicycling community.
Join now at www.nationalbikechallenge.org/login/
We all know and understand the vast benefits that cycling can instill upon our personal fitness, communities and environment. In an effort bolster and expand cycling’s positive influence on society and the environment, The League of American Bicyclists has recently expanded its Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) program. Comprised of nearly 1300 businesses in 49 states, the BSB program works with businesses ranging from local mom-and-pop companies to Fortune 500 corporations to, “[recognize] their efforts to encourage a more welcoming atmosphere for bicycling employees, customers, and the community.”
In announcing forty two new and renewing business in the BFB program, League Executive Director Alex Doty praises the efforts of business that actively appreciate the importance of relevance of cycling. “As these businesses make bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation they play a vital role in transforming our nation into a safer, healthier and more sustainable place to live and work.”
Business can be awarded four levels (bronze, sliver, gold and platinum) of recognition, depending on their commitment to the promotion of cycling for employees, customers and community. Businesses of any shape and size are welcome to participate. Examples of companies in the BSB include:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Memphis, TN
A new Silver-level member of the BSB, St. Jude offers a Bike to Work Day, group rides and a bike share program. Lindsey Swann, Wellness Program Manager explains, “St. Jude values its bicycle-friendly initiatives as important to employee recruitment and retention. It encourages healthy living; mental and physical wellness; employee morale; stress-relief and productivity.”
University of Minnesota
By subsidizing bike share membership, offering financial incentives for cycling commuters and cycling support services on-campus, the University of Minnesota is a returning Platinum-level member of the BSB. According to Steve Sanders, Alternative Transportation Manager, “Employees who bicycle are valued, and our team activities have increased camaraderie and cohesion in multiple units of the University. The University is a better place because of our support for all aspects of bicycling.”
If you’re curious to find (and support!) local businesses in your area that are cycling-friendly, the League of American Bicyclists has created a really cool interactive map to help you identify those companies. Click here to check it out.Tweet Print
Today, the League of American Bicyclists welcomed 26 new and 77 renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). This is the largest application round in the BFC program’s 13 year history. In total, 140 communities applied for recognition, a 62 percent increase from the previous largest round. There are now 404 BFCs in all 50 states.
Several communities stood out for the on-bike examples of their mayors and for their recognition of how bicycling can bring people together. Provo, Utah, moved from a Bronze to a Silver award. Mayor John Curtis has become an avid road cyclist and a regular bike commuter since he was elected mayor — committing to ride 100 days during the year. Through his commitment and the efforts of the Provo Bicycle Committee, there has been a sharp increase in political and community support of bicycling in Provo.
Betsy Price, mayor of new Bronze BFC Fort Worth, Texas, is noted for leading Rolling Town Halls. These family-friendly bike rides allow resident to join the mayor and share how they would like to improve the city.
Assembling a dedicated group of local leaders to create a Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) is key for building a more Bicycle Friendly Community. New Gold BFC, Chico, California, has expanded its BAC to include pedestrians and disabled members of the community, changing its name to the Bike/Pedestrian Working Group. With the guidance of this group, Chico has made great strides in building connections and infrastructure.
As part of the BFC award process, communities reported over 700 local bicycling, active transportation and transportation equity advocacy groups working to improve conditions for people who walk, bike and need better transportation options. Over 300 of these advocates provided feedback on their communities, helping the League better understand this diverse round of 140 communities. Many applications showed a strong connection between the work of communities and advocacy organizations, particularly in bicycle education programming and bicycle promotion campaigns and events.
This round of Bicycle Friendly Communities has shown us once again that there is no one recipe for success and that communities benefit from a holistic approach to implementing the programs and policies across the Five Es (Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation and Planning). Successful communities have a mixture of determined citizen advocates, visionary leaders and responsive staff each doing their parts to build a Bicycle Friendly Community for all.
The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award — diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze — provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.
To apply or learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.Tweet Print
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.
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.Tweet Print
Washington, D.C. — On November 5, the League of American Bicyclists announced 49 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFU), bringing the total to 127 BFUs in 42 states. This year, the number of universities achieving the highest distinction grew to five, with three schools rising to Platinum status: the University of Minnesota, Portland State University and Colorado State University. Stanford became the first BFU to renew its Platinum status.
Twenty-five of the 49 schools involved this year are new additions to the BFU list, from Vanderbilt in Nashville, to Texas A&M in College Station, to Arizona State’s downtown campus in Phoenix.
“Colorado State University and the Campus Bicycle Advisory Committee are beyond proud to receive the Platinum designation,” said Aaron Fodge, Colorado State’s Alternative Transportation Manager. “Our 2011 Silver designation and subsequent guidance from the League set in motion a grassroots effort across campus to integrate the bicycle into every facet of our campus culture. Our employees and students followed the League’s blueprint to preserve future bicycle corridors, enhance our enforcement, significantly expand our bike parking, and dedicate a strong commitment to data-driven decision making. The culmination of these efforts led to a new transportation division, a bike master plan, and a dedicated annual budget from parking revenue with Platinum as our goal. Platinum for CSU validates the ongoing commitment of our daily bicycle commuters and our strong relationship with our host community – Fort Collins.”
The League’s Bicycle Friendly America program provides a roadmap, hands-on assistance and recognition for states, communities, universities and businesses. The BFA℠ program is a tool for states, communities, business and universities to make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option for all people.Tweet Print
Courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists
Today, the League of American Bicyclists has awarded 100 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses [pdf] in 31 states and Washington, D.C.
With this announcement, the program has grown to include 1,050 visionary local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies [pdf] from across the country that are changing the script on what it means to provide a top-notch experience and atmosphere for employees and customers alike. There are now BFBs in 47 states and DC. Rotating Mass Media, parent company of Bicycle Times and our sister magazine, Dirt Rag, is proud to be a Gold Level BFB since 2013.
The new Platinum-level BFBs certified this year are Sonos Inc. of Santa Barbara, California, Partners for Active Living from Spartanburg, South Carolina, Quality Bicycle Products West from Ogden, Utah, and Trek Travel from Madison, Wisconsin.
“The business community’s investment in bicycling is playing a central role in making the country a safer, happier, and more sustainable place to live and work,” said Amelia Neptune, League Bicycle Friendly Business Program Manager. “We applaud this new round of businesses for leading the charge in creating a bicycle-friendly America for everyone.”
Bicycle Friendly Businesses encourage a more bicycle-friendly atmosphere for employees and customers alike. BFBs attract and retain energized, alert and productive employees, while decreasing healthcare costs.
The Architect of the Capitol, which employs 2,300 staff and oversees the maintenance and operation of all congressional buildings and land throughout Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., received a Bronze award this round.
The government agency, among other advancements, has been working collaboratively with the Congressional Bike Caucus to share information throughout the Capitol campus, and has helped to restart the Federal Interagency Bike Working Group as a means to share best practices within the federal community.
“We are so pleased to make the U.S. Capitol campus a more welcoming place for biking commuters and the visiting public,” said Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers. “It is rewarding to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Business and to know that we have a passionate group of employees who implemented a cohesive program to achieve this recognition.”
Hewlett Packard has about 1,900 employees at its Fort Collins, Colorado, location. The new Bronze-level awardee hosts lunch-and-learn seminars on site, focusing on bicycling tips, such as winter riding, basic rules of the road and more.
“HP takes great pride in supporting community wellness and environmental protection,” Hewlett Packard in Fort Collins said in a statement. “We are proud to be part of the movement to make bicycling fun and safe for everyone.”
To apply or learn more about the BFB program, visit bikeleague.org/businesses.Tweet Print
Today the League of American Bicyclists announced 42 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). With this new round, 69 million people live in a Bicycle Friendly Community.
Click here to read the list of Bicycle Friendly Communities
These new awardees join a leading group of more than 350 communities in all 50 states that are improving health, safety and quality of life in cities and towns nationwide. The BFC program provides a roadmap for building a Bicycle Friendly Community. Since the program’s inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. Louisville, Kentucky became a Silver-level awardee:
This increase in our bicycle friendliness rating is great news. It means we’re moving in the right direction in our efforts to build safer, more efficient connections across Louisville for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Those connections make Louisville more livable for those already here and more attractive to those who might consider relocating here.
— Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Washington state became a Bronze-level community. It’s also the first Native American community to receive a Bicycle Friendly Community designation:
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is pleased to learn of our Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze Award from the League of American Bicyclists. Our regional trail system, the Olympic Discovery Trail, is seamlessly incorporated into our Tribal operations and we welcome the public to enjoy the Tribal trail sections. As the first Tribe in the nation to be awarded a League designation, we look forward to continuing a strong affiliation with the cycling community.
— W. Ron Allen, Tribal Chairman
“We applaud this new round of communities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their residents and beyond,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists, based in Washington, D.C. “The growing number of leaders taking up bicycling as a way of solving many complex community problems is encouraging. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a bicycle-friendly America for everyone.”
Communities must apply to be considered a BFC. The awards are valid for four years. A community must reapply after four years to maintain its status or move up.
For 15 years we’ve looked forward to it as a rite of spring: the trek to the nation’s capital for the largest annual gathering of bicycle advocates in the country. Hundreds of advocates, retailers, industry leaders, media and more convene at the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. to lobby Congress to build a bicycle-friendly America for everyone.
In 2015, the Summit will be held March 10-12, in conjunction with the National Forum on Women & Bicycling. The theme will be “Bikes+”, and will “zero in on how the bike movement can add value to other issues and find powerful champions in health, community development and the business sector,” according to the Summit’s host, the League of American Bicyclists.
Topics of discussion
- Vision Zero: Cities around the country are setting goals of reducing traffic fatalities to zero. How has it changed transportation policy, and what are they learning?
- Retrofitting Suburbia: Ellen Dunham Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Georgia Tech, will inspire us to believe that the suburbs can be saved for bicycling, and document how the bicycling community can plug into that effort.
- Building a Leadership Pipeline: A major lesson learned from this year’s election was that picking the right candidate matters. Kara Hollingsworth, principal of political leadership at Wellstone Action, will discuss the components, process and best practices to develop an effective candidate recruitment and leadership pipeline for your local organization.
The Summit will also feature the National Forum on Women & Bicycling, an event that has grown in just three years to nearly 450 attendees in 2014. Building on its success by digging deeper, the Forum will focus on a Big Idea that will drive change at all levels: creating more diverse leaders, and proposing new systems of leadership to infuse more creativity and innovation into the bike movement.
Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of the next generation of thinkers and doers, join us at the Summit. Early registration is open now through January 31.
Today the League of American Bicyclists announced 55 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). With this new round, 69 million people live in a Bicycle Friendly Community as the program extends to all 50 states.
These new awardees join a leading group of more than 325 communities in all 50 states that are improving health, safety and quality of life in cities and towns nationwide.
The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.
The following communities are new or have moved to a higher level:
Moved up to Gold
New to Silver
Moved up to Silver
New Orleans, Louisiana
New to Bronze
Arroyo Grande, California
Battle Creek, Michigan
Carson City, Nevada
Fargo, North Dakota/Moorhead, Minnesota
Greater Grand Forks, North Dakota/Minnesota
Greater Wenatchee, Washington
Honolulu City and County, Hawaii
Morro Bay, California
New Britain, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
Peachtree City, Georgia
Riverdale City, Utah
South Lake County, Florida
South San Francisco, California
To apply or learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.