As thousands participate in Bike to Work Week nationwide, the League of American Bicyclists has announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community℠ (BFC) awards, including Mesquite, Nevada at the bronze level. With nearly 40 million Americans bicycling in 2012 and U.S. bike commuting increasing more than 61% from 2000 to 2012, there’s growing consensus that making biking better is a key component of a competitive, livable community.
“This round of applications overwhelmingly confirms what we heard from local elected officials at the National Bike Summit this year — riding a bike embodies the quality-of-life aspirations of communities across the country,” said League President, Andy Clarke. “Making this healthy and active transportation mode safe and easy is of growing importance to the 8 million residents of New York City and the 6,000 people in Franklin, Pa. alike. We’re excited that Mesquite has made the smart and vital investments to become a designated Bicycle Friendly Community.”
The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this impressive round, there are now 303 BFCs in 48 states across America. The bronze BFC award recognizes Mesquite’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
Over the past several months, a group of local residents formed an ad-hoc bicycle advisory group. They worked closely with various government agencies during the development of the Mesquite’s bikeways development plan. Ultimately, the city council approved the community-wide bikeways development plan. Simultaneously, the group also obtained the bronze level of designation from the League of American Bicyclists for Mesquite as a bicycle friendly community. Ken Cook a member of the group said, “As private citizens, Nancy Hewitt and Bunny Wiseman, were integral in helping the plan get approved and the designation awarded.” Cook went on to say, “This recognition enhances Mesquite’s reputation as a great place to live, work and play.”
The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more than 769 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.
To apply or learn more about the free BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.
About the Bicycle Friendly America℠ program
The Bicycle Friendly America program, provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling, and ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness. To learn more, visit http://www.bikeleague.org/bfa
About the League
The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org