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Bicycle Friendly Community
What Are the 5 Es?
Applicant communities are judged in five categories often referred to as the Five Es. These are Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate achievements in each of the five categories in order to be considered for an award on the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum level. Communities with more significant achievements in these areas receive higher awards. The BFC application is a great self-assessment tool, as communities see where they are lacking in each of these categories.
Communities are asked about what is on the ground; what has been built to promote cycling in the community. For example, questions in this category inquire about the accommodation of cyclists on public roads, and the existence of both well-designed bike lanes and multi-use paths in the community. Reviewers also look at the availability of secure bike parking and the condition and connectivity of both the off-road and on-road network.
The questions in this category are designed to determine the amount of education there is available for both cyclists and motorists. Education includes teaching cyclists of all ages how to ride safely on multi-use paths and congested city streets as well as teaching motorists how to share the road safely with cyclists. Some things that reviewers look at are the availability of cycling education for adults and children, the number of League Cycling Instructors in the community, and ways that safety information is distributed to both cyclists and motorists in the community including bike maps and tip sheets.
This category concentrates on how the community promotes and encourages bicycling. Good promotional measures are Bike Month and Bike to Work Week events as well as community bike maps, route finding signage, community bike rides, commuter incentive programs, and having a Safe Routes to School program. In addition, some questions focus on other things that have been built to promote cycling or a cycling culture such as off-road facilities, BMX parks, velodromes, and the existence of both road and mountain bicycling clubs.
The enforcement category contains questions that measure the connections between the cycling and law enforcement communities. Questions address whether or not the law enforcement community has a liaison with the cycling community, if there are bicycle divisions of the law enforcement or public safety communities, if the community uses targeted enforcement to encourage cyclists and motorists to share the road safely, and the existence of bicycling related laws such as penalties for failing to yield to a cyclists while turning or penalties for motorists that “door” cyclists.
EVALUATION & PLANNING
Here the community is judged on the systems that they have in place to evaluate current programs and plan for the future. Questions are focused on measuring the amount of cycling taking place in the community, the crash and fatality rates, and ways that the community works to improve these numbers. Communities are asked about whether or not they have a bicycle master plan, how much of it has been implemented and what the next steps for improvement are.