A new Bicycle Friendly Community report card and other updates
In May, the League announced our Spring 2023 Bicycle Friendly Community awards, recognizing 45 cities, towns, and counties that earned new, renewing, or improved statuses as bronze, silver, and gold BFCs. You can find report cards for all Spring 2023 BFCs on the League’s BFA Awards Map, and learn more about the updated BFC report card format in our Guide to the BFC Report Card, here.
This Spring round was the second-ever cohort of communities that applied to the BFC program since we launched the new-and-improved BFC application last summer, including the updated “Equity & Accessibility” section and several other new subsections throughout the “5 E” framework. We continue to work with our judges, applicants, and program users to finalize the new permanent scoring system and develop a Report Card format that best communicates each community’s standing and progress against our updated awards criteria. You can expect to see more resources and new materials from the League in the coming months as these materials are finalized.
With 91 total applications in the last two rounds, our BFC team has heard from communities that the focus on building partnerships in the updated application has fostered stronger local connections by encouraging applicants to reach out to others in the community who are working to make bicycling better for everyone. We’ve always known that you can not build a Bicycle Friendly Community alone, and the updated application now helps applicants to identify the partners who should be involved, both to create a stronger BFC application, and a stronger community.
We also know that with the addition of new questions and the new “Equity & Accessibility” section and other subsections, the BFC application simply takes longer to fill out. That is one of the reasons we recently announced there will only be one annual BFC submission deadline and awards announcement per year. Check out our blog on that topic for more details.
That change won’t go into effect until 2024, and in the meantime we currently have a batch of new and renewing applicants who are working toward the Fall 2023 application deadline on August 30, 2023.
If your community is considering applying, we encourage you to start an online application now or as early as possible so that we can easily communicate with you about approaching deadlines, new resources, and BFC program updates. For example, the League recently launched peer-to-peer networking Zoom calls for everyone who is actively working on a BFC application to convene and learn from other current and aspiring BFCs. Start a BFC application online to be added to the invite list for these calls, as well as to stay up-to-date on the latest news from the BFC program.