League Honors 37 Places Pedaling Their Way to a Bicycle Friendly America
In a Bike Month where many are finding extra inspiration to get out and get active, the League of American Bicyclists is proud to honor 37 places with a Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Award in its Spring 2021 round. An additional seven communities earned Honorable Mentions. These 37 new and renewing communities are joining a total of 487 towns and cities across America working to create safer streets and better bicycling for everyone.
“The Bicycle Friendly Community award recognizes the groundwork laid by local leaders and advocates to improve and innovate, ensuring the joy of biking is safe and accessible to everyone. Throughout the pandemic, people have not stopped turning to bikes and the League, and the communities it honors, have not stopped trying to make bicycling a real transportation and recreational option for all people to turn to,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud the 37 new and renewing communities pedaling alongside us to power this movement.”
The past year has encouraged some cities to make big changes: Fremont, California, which joined Arlington, Massachusetts, and St. Louis Park, Minnesota, in moving up from a Bronze-level certification
|Riders on Carrollton GreenBelt in Carrollton, Georgia|
to a Silver-level, launched a “Drive Slowly, Be Healthy” advisory speed campaign that encouraged residents to obey a 20 mph speed limit on residential streets. In recognition of the fact that more community members were out walking and bicycling during the COVID-19 pandemic, they also allotted more passing space to obey social distancing guidelines. The program is one the city anticipates it will maintain.
Carrollton, Georgia, which just renewed its Bronze-level certification, experienced a similar increase in residents getting out and getting active throughout the past year. “By far, the most positive outcome is the use our trail, the Carrollton GreenBelt, gets on a daily basis and how it changes the level of physical activity in town. We see parents out for a jog and kids following on a bike. We see three, or sometimes four, generations walking together,” according to Martyna Griffin, vice president of Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt LLC. “The trail provided people with the excuse to go out and enjoy the outdoors, and that excitement and empowerment is now part of the everyday life of Carrolltonians.”
Both renewing Silver Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and renewing Gold San Francisco, California, made changes to accommodate increased bike traffic on their trails and streets. Coeur d’Alene added more trash cans and bike racks to their trails after noticing an increase of use during the pandemic and will make the accommodations permanent.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency established a Slow Streets program that utilizes signage and barricades to limit traffic on residential streets to allow a safe and more people-oriented space for those on foot and on bike trying to socially distance while exercising or traveling. With the program’s success, it is currently exploring using community feedback to design slow streets that will be a permanent fixture beyond the pandemic.
“We have really seen the challenges of Covid spotlight the many barriers still to overcome, and there are changes that communities can make to improve safe and accessible bicycling for everyone which aren’t as out-of-reach as once thought,” said Amelia Neptune, Bicycle Friendly America program director at the League of American Bicyclists. “The BFA program helps guide communities in seeing what changes are possible, but we love that it’s the leaders and advocates in BFCs across the country who are putting in the work to meet the reality of their individual community’s needs. We will continue to encourage and honor those building upon our mission for a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.
|BFCs by Ranking in Spring of 2021|
About BFC & the League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting the rights of people who bike.
Our Bicycle Friendly Community awards reflect local leaders’ ongoing work to build better places to bike and evaluate those efforts as part of a national movement. Each of the five levels of the Bicycle Friendly Community award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear path for communities to continuously improve. Visit bikeleague.org/community to learn more about the BFC program.
About Bike Month
Established in 1956 and celebrated in May, National Bike Month is promoted by the League as a way to showcase the benefits of cycling and encourage everyone to give biking a try. For more information on how you can celebrate Bike Month or how to join the National Bike Challenge, visit bikeleague.org/bikemonth.