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Best of the League 2012: Raising the Bar for the BFA Program

This March, we’ll celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Bicycle Friendly American program. But 2012 marked a key moment in BFA history, too.

For the first decade, the BFC program ranked communities at the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. But, because of the tremendous progress, innovation and enthusiasm from communities nationwide, we realized it was time to set the bar higher. In September, we launched our effort to help communities become world-class cycling cities, moving beyond platinum to our new Diamond designation.

Portland 1 Portland is one of three cities pursuing Diamond BFC status

But Diamond wasn’t the only shining achievement for the BFC program in 2012. Kicking off Bike to Work Week, we announced the largest round of BFCs in the program’s history, including two new Gold-level BFCs in Durango, Colo., and Missoula, Mont. With the second round of awards in October, major urban centers — including Los Angeles, Miami and Nashville — earned a spot among the bicycle-friendly ranks. And that’s significant: Two-thirds of America’s largest cities are now BFCs.


The Bicycle Friendly Business program also had an impressive year. In April, with the announcement of 67 new BFBs, the program hit a major benchmark: More than 500,000 Americans now work at a Bicycle Friendly Business. And, in October, a handful of the most iconic U.S. companies pushed the number of BFBs to nearly 500, with Hewlett Packard, Apple and Facebook proving they “Like” bikes!

Facebook employees "Like" bikes! Facebook is now a BFB!

The Bicycle Friendly University program continued to grow in 2012, too, welcoming prestigious institutions like Duke, Yale and Princeton. Taking a page from the classroom, the Bicycle Friendly States program debuted Report Cards and new maps highlighting where states are making the grade — and needing improvement.

Screen Shot 2012-12-22 at 11.12.22 AM

So what’s in store for 2013? A partnership with the Alliance for Biking & Walking on the BFS program, a new multi-location BFB application process, and more. Stay tuned!


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