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New Bicycle Friendly Communities Announced!
In case you missed it on our homepage or Facebook update, this past Monday we announced our Fall round of new Bicycle Friendly Communities! We are excited to add 15 new Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) and three renewing BFCs. Notably, 10 out of the 15 new awardees are from the Midwest to the East coast, disproving the myth that building great cities for cycling only works in the West. Three new states, Arkansas, Louisiana, and South Dakota have their first BFCs with this designation cycle.
Additionally, the American Community Survey (ACS) recently released their 2008 report, which includes community bicycle mode share percentages from 2000 to 2008. We crunched the numbers and found that BFCs had higher levels of bicycle commuting than cities not participating in the program. The average BFC bicycle commuter share is 1.5 percent, 2.5 times the national average. St. Louis, MO, for example, is one of the 70 largest cities surveyed in the ACS and a new bronze level BFC. The community nearly doubled their number of bicycle commuters from 2000 to 2008. The city has completed several noteworthy projects within the past year, including 53 new miles of on-street additions to the bikeway system, a $10 million investment, and an expansion of bicycling education offerings for children and adults. This shows that like cities across the country, making smart investments in building a welcoming community for biking that will inevitably lead to more, healthier and sustainable transportation options and increased recreational opportunities.
We’ve seen the BFC program revolutionize the way states and communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress and work toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. The application process to become a BFC is rigorous (though staff is on hand to assist!); currently only 124 of the 318 total applicants have a BFC four-year designation. The renewal process and four levels of the award – platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.
Interested in learning more about how your community stacks up? Take a minute and rate it with our new quick scorecard, or get in touch with Bicycle Friendly Community program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.822.1333.
2009 Fall Bicycle Friendly Community Winners
(Bronze award unless otherwise noted)
Breckenridge, CO (Silver)
Baton Rouge, LA
Grand Rapids, MI
Indianapolis & Marion County, IN
Iowa City, IA
North Little Rock, AR
Sioux Falls, SD
St. Louis, MO
Boca Raton, FL (Renewal)
Chandler, AZ (Renewal)
Eugene, OR (Renewal, Gold)
2009 Honorable Mentions
Annapolis, MD; Baltimore, MD; Cedar Rapids, IA; Charleston, SC; Cumberland, MD; Emerald Isle, NC
Gresham, OR; Hamilton County, OH; Jacksonville, FL; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Norman, OK
Palm Desert, CA; Portland, ME; Rockville, MD; Sumter County, SC; Warrenville, IL