BFA: The Next Generation
When Wayne Byrd came up with the concept for Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) and the League took that idea to the national level, we knew it would be a powerful tool to make biking better for millions of Americans. But we’re happy to admit: We didn’t think we’d get this far this fast.
In our latest issue of American Bicyclist — the 10th Anniversary of the Bicycle Friendly America program — we give you a glimpse at the next generation of the BFA program. From communities to businesses, we’re continuing to raise the bar for leading communities and corporations that want to improve cycling for their residents and employees.
Last year, for instance, we announced our new Diamond BFC designation — an award that challenges and guides our top Platinum communities to become world-class cycling cities. In this Anniversary issue, Bill Nesper, our VP of Programs, shares the full story behind the development of this new award and how we’ll measure success…
“We never thought Platinum would be the end of the road, the pinnacle of bicycle friendliness,” Bill writes. “But the degree of innovation and pace of improvement in the top BFCs blew us away. We knew we needed new ways to support and challenge the Platinum-level communities. And they were eager to step up their game, too. Last year, we had a call with advocates and city staff from Davis, Boulder and Portland. The consensus was clear: ‘We need a higher bar. We need you to push us to become even better — and give us clear metrics to make our communities world-class cycling cities,’ they said.”
So what will it take to be world-class?
“Attaining Diamond is different than any other BFA designation,” Bill explains. “The biggest change: Defined minimum requirements for ridership, safety and bicyclists’ perceptions. Right now, the average Platinum-level BFC has a bicycle mode share of 12 percent. To get to Diamond, you’ve got to hit at least 15 percent. But that’s not all.”