Partnerships That Pedal Cities Forward: The League’s Latest Bicycle Friendly Business Awards
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) awards, recognizing the efforts of 64 organizations across the country. An additional four organizations earned Honorable Mentions. The new and renewing awardees join a total of 1,547 BFB awardees working in tandem with the League, other businesses, city leaders, and local advocates to pedal forward in building better places to live, work, and play.
“The collective power of the Bicycle Friendly Business program is in its ability to inspire diverse partnerships to form a strong, unified movement to promote safe and easy bicycling across the community,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “Through collaboration and the shared goal of establishing a Bicycle Friendly Community, organizations of every size and industry are building off one another’s efforts to improve bicycling and boost the number of places in their community where traveling by bike is not only possible for employees but encouraged for all.”
The Fall 2022 round of Bicycle Friendly Business awards includes 46 organizations new to the program and some long-time BFBs renewing or improving their awards. Two first-time applicants, local advocacy organizations Bike/Walk Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, and Bike Fitchburg, Inc. in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, earned Platinum awards — the current top honor for the BFB awards program. Among those renewing their Platinum status is engineering consulting company The Burke Group in Rosemont, Illinois, which has been a BFB since 2010.
Orlando’s Mayor Buddy Dyer on Bike to Work Day
Nonprofit Bethesda Urban Partnership in Bethesda, Maryland, and government agency Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission in Roanoke, Virginia, which both moved up to Gold in this round, have been BFBs since 2012 and 2008 (when the program started), respectively. They join 11 first-time applicants earning Gold awards, including retirement community La Posada at Park Centre Inc. in Green Valley, Arizona, nonprofit Hawaii Bicycling League in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Orlando City Hall in Orlando, Florida.
Orlando tops the leaderboard in the number of BFBs per city for this round, with 13 Orlando-based organizations earning awards, accounting for 20% of the Fall 2022 BFB cohort. This is thanks to the city proactively promoting the BFB program in partnership with local advocates and organizations. Pedal Power Promoters led the on-the-ground efforts as its founder Christine Acosta had previously helped Tampa, Florida, achieve an impressive total of 71 BFBs. The four-way collaboration among Pedal Power Promoters, the city, business leaders in the Milk District, and Bike/Walk Central Florida shows how local collaboration can have a national impact. Across the nation, cities like Orlando are realizing their vision of creating a Bicycle Friendly Community through a holistic approach that encourages more businesses to participate in the Bicycle Friendly Business program.
“Orlando has been hard at work transforming the City Beautiful into the City Bikeable — a world-class, economically vibrant, sustainable city with multi-modal transportation options for residents and visitors alike,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The Bicycle Friendly Business program highlights the partnerships needed to make such a city a reality. We’re proud that Orlando can lead by example and delighted to be one of the hundreds of cities across the U.S. making infrastructure investments at the municipal level, supported by local businesses that welcome and celebrate their employees and patrons that arrive by bike.”
In Fergus Falls, Minnesota, nonprofit West Central Initiative, which the League promoted to Platinum, also works closely with local organizations like Pedal Fergus Falls and PartnerSHIP 4 Health to assist businesses in the region with their Bicycle Friendly Business applications. There are a total of five Fergus Fall BFBs awarded in this round, bringing their current total number of BFBs to 25 – the seventh highest of any community in the nation. WCI is also a great example of how current Bicycle Friendly Businesses are enlisting the help of other community stakeholders and local advocates to enhance existing better bicycling efforts and ensure they are accessible and equitable.
WCI consulted with Freedom Resource Center, a local disability rights organization, to ensure its new bike facilities and amenities, which include a sculptured bike rack, shower, restroom, and changing room for employees, are ADA-compliant and user-friendly. Similarly, renewing Platinum TEI Planning + Design architecture firm in Houston, Texas, teamed up with Tecolotl, a local group dedicated to bridging the language divide, to provide Spanish-language materials and a meeting interpreter when gathering input from the Latino population for the East End Bike Plan.
As proved by this latest round of Bicycle Friendly Business awards, inspiring one another, working together, and capitalizing on your community’s resources are crucial tactics to building a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. Check out this printer-friendly overview of the program if you would like to encourage your local businesses to apply to the BFB program.
If your business would like to be recognized for its efforts or receive guidance for improvement, submissions for the Spring 2023 round of the Bicycle Friendly Business program are due on March 1, 2023, at 11:59 PM PT.
About the Bicycle Friendly Business Program
Bicycle Friendly Business 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 Business award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear path for businesses to continuously improve. Visit bikeleague.org/business to learn more about the BFB program.
About the League Of American Bicyclists
Since 1880, the League of American Bicyclists has been people-powered, with a goal to make bicycling safer and easier as a means of transportation and recreation. Today, the League continues to improve lives and strengthen communities through bicycling. We are more than 200,0000 members and supporters strong with more than 1,000 state and local advocacy groups and bike clubs, as well as thousands of businesses, universities, and communities together leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.