Bicycle Friendly Community
As we continue to celebrate National Bike to Work Week, the League of American Bicyclists today announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). With nearly 40 million Americans bicycling in 2012 and U.S. bike commuting increasing more than 61% from 2000 to 2012, there’s growing consensus that making biking better is a key component of a healthy, livable community.
If you’re as passionate about bicycling as I am, my gig will sound like a dream: I get to travel the country, visiting cities to help them become more bike-friendly as part of the new expanded Bicycle Friendly Community program. And you can thank Trek and Trek’s retailers throughout the nation for making this possible.
A couple months ago, we welcomed Newport, R.I., into the ranks of Bicycle Friendly Communities. We were especially happy here at the League to see Newport make strides because it is the birthplace of our more than 130-year-old organization. The City of Newport held a ceremony to celebrate its new Bronze-level BFC status last month, with remarks from the city’s mayor; member of the police department; Bari George, executive director of Bike Newport; and John Siemiatkoski, a member of the League’s board.
The League is excited to announce a new member of our staff: Stephen Clark. A longtime bike advocate, Steve is our new Bicycle Friendly Community Specialist, and he’ll be traveling across the country visiting communities to help them become more bike friendly. So what’s Steve’s story? Here’s a quick Q&A on Steve’s biking background…
The Rust Belt’s revival appears to be pedal-powered. We know that bicycling is a cost-effective solution for many community problems. And many cities across the Rust Belt region — like Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis, South Bend, Morgantown — have shown they’re committed to making biking better in their communities. In our latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community awards, Buffalo, New York, was awarded a Bronze. Buffalo has a booming bike culture, a growing bikeshare system and nearly half of all of its schools have a Safe Routes to School program.
As the NBA season kicks off today, Miami Heat star Lebron James has a new commercial for Nike that highlights his work ethic and commitment to commuting by bike as he prepares to defend his back-to-back championships and MVP awards. He’s not alone in MIA…
“Great place to ride a bike” may not be the first thought that comes into your head when you think of Houston, Texas. What if I told you that Houston has pioneered an online bicycling education program – primarily for the benefit of educating city staff – and that there are monthly in-person Smart Cycling classes and at least 1 League Cycling Instructor certification seminar every year in the Houston area
Newport, R.I., has “returned to its roots” as a hub for bicycling. The birthplace of the League back in the late 1800s, Newport was named a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community yesterday. Newport is also now the first BFC in Rhode Island, growing the network of BFCs to 48 states.
As the national voice for America’s bicyclists, the League is based in Washington, D.C., but our staff is constantly on the road to make biking better in your community. We attend conferences and Summit from coast to coast to share our knowledge, listen and learn. We present workshops on how to get funding for bike projects, visit leaders to advance our Bicycle Friendly Community program — and much more.
We created the Diamond Bicycle Friendly Community challenge to keep setting a high bar for the leading BFCs, one that takes into account safety and levels of ridership. In doing so, we looked to our friends in the city of Copenhagen for examples. No, we’re not expecting every city and town in America to adopt the Copenhagen model, but these communities at the top are doing really well and we need to give them options.