WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—Eleven communities were honored with the League of American Bicyclists prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community designation and eleven communities renewed their designation.
“This round brings into focus both the geographic and demographic diversity of designated communities,” said League president Andy Clarke. “These are all cities that are realizing the potential of bicycling to address the challenges of climate change, traffic congestion, rising obesity rates and soaring fuel prices.”
The Bicycle Friendly Community program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life and transportation network. These new winners bring the total number of current Bicycle Friendly Communities to 84, stretching across 31 states. The League awards this four-year designation to communities that have made impressive, measurable efforts to integrate bicyclists into the community. There are four levels—platinum, gold, silver and bronze—awarded twice each year.
The new Bicycle Friendly Communities are:
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Charlotte, North Carolina
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Port Townsend, Washington
Eleven communities renewed their designation at the same level, with one exceptional standout, Portland, Oregon, which moved up from gold to platinum. These communities are:
Tucson/East Pima Region, Arizona
Albuquerque, New Mexico
South Sioux City, Nebraska
This designation is one with real meaning—it is difficult to earn and important to renew. In addition to the winning communities, 16 additional communities applied in this round but did not reach. Since the program’s inception in 2003, 212 communities have applied and 84 current have a bronze or higher designation. Ten communities were given honorable mentions as well.
It is important to recognize communities as they begin to build bicycle friendliness into their network. But a designation only goes to communities with established records in two or more of the five categories which are known as the Five E’s:
Education: Does the community have systems in place to train children and adult cyclists?
Engineering: Are bicyclists included in the city’s transportation plan?
Enforcement: Do police officers understand and enforce bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities?
Encouragement: Does the community participate in Bike Month, offer bike rodeos, host community bike rides, or otherwise encourage cycling?
Evaluation: Does the community have methods in place to ensure their bicyclist programs are making a difference?
The honorable mentions for this round are:
Morgan Hill, California
New Haven, Connecticut
New Orleans, Louisiana
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Sarasota County, Florida