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League of American Bicyclists Announces 61 New and Renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities
Students in Bronze BFC Grand Junction, CO, on Bike to School Day.
The League of American Bicyclists honored 61 towns and cities in 27 states with prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) awards for their leadership and investment in infrastructure, education and outreach that enables and inspires people to ride bikes.
Of those winners, five received Gold awards, the highest recognition of the fall 2018 BFC class: Aspen, Colo.; Oakland, Calif.; and Sanibel, Fla.—all first-time recipients—as well as repeat Gold honorees Urbana, Ill., and Bloomington, Ind.
The national bicycling organization also recognized 10 Silver winners—including first-time applicant Mill Valley, Calif.—and 46 Bronze recipients. Five communities also were upgraded in the five-level awards ladder (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond). Additionally, ten communities were recognized with Honorable Mention status. The announcement brings the total number of BFCs with current awards Bronze or higher to 464 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“Congratulations to the latest class of outstanding Bicycle Friendly Community winners for creating a safe, supportive and inviting environment for people to bicycle,” says League Executive Director Bill Nesper. “Their vision and dedication have transformed local landscapes to ensure bicycling is a viable option for transportation such as commuting, making short trips around town and recreating. Together, we can continue to shift towards making easily accessible, healthier, active transportation options such as bicycling and walking an essential element in every community.“
South San Fransisco, CA, a renewing Bronze BFC. Photo by Billy Hustace.
Fifteen localities are new BFCs, including a range of communities such as Mill Valley, Calif.; San Marcos, Texas; and Sheboygan, Wis. Forty-one cities and towns renewed previous BFC awards at the same level; communities must reapply every four years to maintain or improve their recognition status.
According to BFA Program Director Amelia Neptune, “These new Bicycle Friendly Community award recipients add to the growing number of model counties, cities, towns and neighborhoods that understand and support the many positive benefits of bicycling for local residents and visitors.”
“We continue to see great diversity among successful applicants, from small towns such as Battle Lake, Minn., to large metropolitan areas such as San Antonio, Texas,” she says. “Their mindset is the same, though—bicycling provides countless positive benefits to any locality, from healthy recreational opportunities to efficient, non-polluting transportation options.”
Bloomington, IN, a renewing Gold BFC.
The BFC Program is at the heart of the League’s Bicycle Friendly America (BFA) Program, which drives the organization’s mission. The League receives financial support for the program from co-sponsor Eco-Counter, a company specializing in people-counting technology. “The Bicycle Friendly Community Awards help ensure we recognize all the people and work done to make a place bicycle friendly,” says Eco-Counter’s Client Consultant Marian Mithani. “My biggest satisfaction in our support for the program is our contribution to celebrating and enabling those people.”
To learn more about the methodology behind BFC evaluations, visit the BFC website and the League’s blog. In addition to awards, the League provides year-round coaching, online tools, trendspotting and case studies to help communities improve and promote cycling.
Submissions for the 2019 Bicycle Friendly Community awards are now open. Deadline is Feb. 5, 2019.
The Bicycle Friendly Community program is supported by Eco-Counter and League Members.