Friday, September 28, 2007

League of American Bicyclists Announce Bicycle Friendly Communities

LAB Press Release -
Seven Communities Earn BFC Status

Cities from New York to California Recognized for Bicycle Friendliness
Washington, D.C.—Today, seven communities were honored with the League of American Bicyclists prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

  • Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  • Lexington-Fayette County, Ky.
  • Liberty Lake, Wash.
  • New York City, N.Y.
  • Santa Clarita, Calif.
  • Spartanburg, S.C.

The Bicycle Friendly Community program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life and transportation network. The League awards this four-year designation to communities that have made impressive, measurable efforts to integrate bicyclists into the community. There are four levels—platinum, gold, silver and bronze—awarded twice each year.
Thirteen communities renewed their designation, with one, Arlington, Va., moving up from bronze to silver.

These communities are:

  • Davis, Calif.

  • Palo Alto, Calif.

  • Arlington, Va.
  • Chicago, Ill.
  • Folsom, Calif.
  • Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Tempe, Ariz.

  • Auburn, Ala.
  • Bloomington, Ind.
  • Brentwood, Calif.
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Vancouver, Wash.
  • Washington, D.C.

This designation is one with real meaning—it is difficult to earn and important to renew. In addition to the winning communities, 17 other communities applied in this round. Since the program’s inception in 2003, 174 communities have applied and 70 have earned the designation.

“In this round, eight communities were given honorable mentions,” League Executive Director Andy Clarke said. “It is important to recognize communities as they begin to build bicycle friendliness into their network. But a designation only goes to communities with established records in two or more of the five categories.”

The five categories local and national reviewers look at are:
Education: Does the community have systems in place to train children and adult cyclists? Engineering: Are bicyclists included in the city’s transportation plan?
Enforcement: Do police officers understand and enforce bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities? Encouragement: Does the community participate in Bike Month, offer bike rodeos, host community bike rides, or otherwise encourage cycling?
Evaluation: Does the community have methods in place to ensure their bicyclist programs are making a difference?

The honorable mentions are:
  • Baton Rouge, La.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Little Rock, Ark.
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Oceanside, Calif.
  • Tampa, Fla.
(Philadelphia received an Honorable Mention in 2006 the city may apply again in 2008 if the next administration takes some key steps, such as hire a bicycle pedestrian coordinator).

Notable features of this round of designations include: Santa Cruz, Calif., in addition to a good all-around cycling program, has strongly enforced guidelines to protect the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and disabled travelers during road construction.

Steamboat Springs, Colo. has a strongly integrated off- and on-road bicycling system, featuring some of the best single-track in the country.

Lexington-Fayette County, Ky. just passed a new bicycle-pedestrian master plan with $2 million in local funds allocated for trail development and bike lanes.

Liberty Lake, Wash. built a bicycle infrastructure from the ground up as the community has grown over the past 20 years.

New York City, N.Y., because of their high-profile crash problem, recently completed the most thorough crash analysis of any city in the country. They are already using this plan to improve the safety of cyclists.

Santa Clarita, Calif. has made intersection improvements across the city with the installation of extremely sensitive bicycle-detection technology to ensure cyclists are properly accommodated on city streets.

Spartanburg, S.C. recently completed a two-mile rail-trail through downtown which was paid for with more than $1 million in local funds.

About the BFC Program & the League

The BFC program was initiated in 2003 and has received applications from more than 170 communities. Designations have been awarded to 63 cities and counties. Applicants complete a detailed on-line form with numerous questions in five key areas: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation/planning. Local cyclists, national experts, and League staff review the applications. To learn more, visit

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of 57 million American cyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit or