Thankful for the people and places committed to being a Bicycle Friendly Community
From bike education in public schools to Open Streets events to successful bond measures funding biking and walking projects, today’s Bicycle Friendly Community awardees are each taking different steps towards a shared goal: building a more Bicycle Friendly America. Twice a year, the League of American Bicyclists honors communities, their city leaders and local advocates, with an award level based on the progress these places have made towards being more welcoming to people who bike. Today’s announcement includes 65 communities, of which 53 earned official Bicycle Friendly Community certification and 12 communities were recognized with Honorable Mentions.
“With every round of the Bicycle Friendly Community program, it is inspiring to read about the many ways different places are creating better places to bike,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “While the BFC program provides a blueprint for communities, it’s the leaders and advocates on the ground who make the change happen in a way that meets the community’s needs. We’re thrilled to offer guidance and set the goalposts for these creative community leaders to build on and join our mission to build a more Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
The Fall 2019 cohort in the Bicycle Friendly Community program includes 15 communities who improved their award level, with six communities moving up from Bronze to Silver, seven former Honorable Mentions earning a Bronze award for the first time, and two prior applicants earning their first Honorable Mention awards. Five out of 12 first-time applicants earned BFC awards, all at the Bronze level. Of the 38 renewing communities, five are renewing at the Gold level, six are renewing Silver-level awardees, and Madison, Wisconsin, is renewing at the Platinum level.
“Whether a community is renewing or applying for the first time, the League expects places to put in the work to meet the standards we’ve set,” said Nesper. “In addition to measuring communities against the five Es–engineering, encouragement, education, evaluation, and enforcement–we seek feedback from people who bike there to find out how they are meeting the needs specific to that place.” In this round of awards, the League sought responses from community members and heard from nearly 9,000 individuals via survey.
The Bicycle Friendly Community program currently recognizes 488 towns, cities, counties, and regions with BFC awards, including at least one community in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The program is free for communities and encourages local bike advocates and people who bike to provide feedback throughout the process. Applications for the next round of Bicycle Friendly Community awards close on February 5, 2020.
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.