May is National Bike Month with hundreds of events and thousands of riders celebrating bicycling nationwide. And a growing number of U.S. communities are taking steps to encourage residents to ride all year round — including the City of Port Townsend, which was named a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists.
“We are not surprised that this was the largest number of new and renewing applicants that we’ve ever had,” said League President Andy Clarke. “The popularity of this program is clear evidence that investment in bicycling is a major catalyst in creating the kind of vibrant communities people want to live, work and visit. Port Townsend recognizes that simple steps to make bicycling safe and comfortable pay huge dividends in civic, community and economic development.”
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 214 BFCs in 47 states across America. The Silver BFC award recognizes Port Townsend’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
“We’re proud to have moved up from the Bronze level to the Silver level this year,” said David Timmons, City Manager for the City of Port Townsend.
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 then 500 distinct communities have applied and the four levels of the award – platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.
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 America’s 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org.