Over 400 Bicycle Friendly Communities in all 50 States
The League of American Bicyclists welcomed 65 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC℠). There are now 430 BFCs in all 50 states.
“One of the most amazing things about the Bicycle Friendly Community program is how diverse participating communities are” said Ken McLeod, Policy Director of the League of American Bicyclists. “This round is a great example of that, with towns as small as 588 people and counties of over 2 million. There are places with no bike lanes, but emerging bike cultures, as well as leading Platinum cities. That all of these communities find value in the program speaks to the breadth of the program and its commitment to being a part of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
Portland, OR, and Boulder, CO, have renewed their Platinum BFC statuses. Among other aspects, Portland’s application stood out for their model bike commuter benefit program: “City employees are eligible for the TRIP program, which pays benefits-eligible employees who walk, bike, or carpool $50 per month for doing so or pays $50 of a discounted monthly transit pass.” Portland has high goals for continuing to grow their biking profile, with an “adopted city policy that calls for 25 percent of all commute trips to be by bike by 2035.”
Several communities were notable for their dedication to enforcing and providing education about their safe passing laws. Renewing Bronze BFC Portage, MI, has passed an ordinance requiring motor vehicle drivers to give a five-foot buffer when passing cyclists. Bath, ME, also a renewing Bronze BFC, has taken extra steps to encourage motorists to follow Maine’s 3-foot passing law. Local police and the county sheriff’s department have worked together with the City of Bath Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to create a motorist education program around the law. The sheriff and the police chief were awarded a “Just Do It” commendation by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for the support they have shown bicyclists.
Battle Creek, MI, which has moved from Bronze to Silver BFC status, has also been proactive about education and enforcement. The city’s police department requires all new hires to become police bike-certified with yearly updates on their bike training. Both Battle Creek and fellow Michigan community Ann Arbor, a renewing Silver BFC, have more than twenty percent of their patrol officers on bikes. The Ann Arbor police department regularly organizes helmet giveaways and community rides, reflecting the city’s focus on safety for cyclists of all ages.
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