The League of American Bicyclists has recognized 37 communities with Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) awards out of 50 applicants. This round saw six communities move up from an Honorable Mention to Bronze, nine communities receive a Bronze award on their first application, and 22 communities renewing as BFCs, including five that moved from a Bronze to a Silver award.
These 37 communities join a group of communities, in all 50 US states, that are transforming their neighbourhoods. There are now 416 communities currently recognized with a BFC award for their efforts to make biking better.
This round was an mix of communities, from leading communities such as Fort Collins, CO, which received a Platinum award, to communities being transformed by investments in biking such as Carrollton, GA, and communities returning to the BFC program, such as Miami Beach, FL, which re-applied after first being recognized 14 years ago.
“What stood out to me was the number of communities that adapted the program to suit their needs and used the comprehensive nature of the program,” said Ken McLeod, Policy Director of the League of American Bicyclists. “In our programming there is always a tension between simplicity, which is easier to communicate, and thoroughness, which serves our mission of building a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.
“It was great to see so many communities work within the comprehensive BFC program and supplement it with really incredible information, showing that they value and want more ways to engage in making biking better.”
“We applaud these communities for making improvements for people who bike in ways that build upon their existing strengths and are based upon their particular needs, whether that is infrastructure, education or encouragement,” said Bill Nesper, Interim Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the way that communities are using bicycling as a part of their solution to issues of health, job access, traffic safety and the environment and using our program to make progress in those issues. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as part of our mission to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award — diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze.