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Saturday, May 2, 2009

The League of American Bicyclists Announces Spring 2009 Bicycle Friendly Communities and States

Washington, DC - April 27, 2009 – The League of American Bicyclists is proud to announce our 2009
spring Bicycle Friendly Communities and States in celebration of Bike Month 2009, starting May 1. The
League is recognizing 13 new Bicycle Friendly Communities and three BFC renewals (see list below).
Notably, five states have their first BFC designations – Cedar Falls, Iowa; Columbia, Mo.; Tulsa, Okla.;
Columbus, Ohio; and Philadelphia, Pa. Philadelphia and Columbus add to the League’s roster of
metropolitan cities east of the Mississippi River to become a BFC, proving that the nation – not just the
west coast – is growing increasingly aware of the benefits of becoming more bicycle-friendly. “It was very
encouraging to have five new states represented, some big cities east of the Mississippi, and a significant
improvement in responses to enforcement and planning questions,” said League President Andy Clarke.
The cities that received BFC designations have made great strides in the past few years. Philadelphia
and Columbus are both bronze BFCs and at critical points of the process to become great cities for
cyclists. Philadelphia is back on track after doing a lot in the late 1990s with its on-street network. They
have hired a bike coordinator, Bike Philly is growing apace, there are unique urban mountain biking
opportunities and industry and advocates are working effectively with Philadelphia to move things
forward. Columbus has an exciting new Bicycle Master Plan; and if fully implemented, it will build one of
the better urban trail systems in the country. Both of these communities benefit from new mayors who are
committed to improving the quality of life in communities through bicycling. In addition to these, Tulsa and
Irvine, Calif. both have bike sharing programs. Clarke noted the impressive advances of the BFC
applicants and stated, “This round of applications had more communities with newer and stronger bike
plans than all previous reviews.”
Additionally, the League is announcing its inaugural round of Bicycle Friendly States. Four states have
been awarded the coveted designation and two states received an honorable mention – Washington
(Silver), Wisconsin (Silver), Arizona (Bronze), Minnesota (Bronze), Delaware (Honorable Mention) and
Maryland (Honorable Mention). “This year we are recognizing several states for their impressive initiatives
to improve conditions for bicyclists, and the timing could not be better for doing that: to lessen energy
consumption and improve the environment, health benefits and traffic,” stated Clarke.
The BFC and BFS programs are revolutionizing 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;
currently only 108 of the 274 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. The new and expanded BFC program began at the League in 1995, and in the
past 14 years it has evolved into the tool it is today – evaluating, recognizing and improving cities, states
and businesses. The League judges all BFC applications on our fundamental Five Es – Engineering,
Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation.
The BFS program links the League’s work with federal level and community advocacy throughout the
nation and recognizes states that actively support bicycling. Scoring is based on a 75-item questionnaire
evaluating a states’ commitment to bicycling and covers six key areas: legislation, policies and programs,
infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement.

League of American Bicyclists website

Thanks Tricia for all your hard work!


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