The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Monday:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2023
For more information, please contact:
Andrew Krebbs, Communications Director, Office of the Mayor
[email protected] or 812-349-3406
Hank Duncan, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator,
Planning and Transportation
[email protected] or 812-349-3529
Bloomington Named Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community for Third Time by League of American Bicyclists
Bloomington, Ind.– On May 31st of this year, the League of American Bicyclists honored the efforts of Bloomington to build better places for people to bike with a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. BFC recognizes communities at five levels – diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze (plus an honorable mention category), and Bloomington joins 506 communities across the country in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. The award recognizes Bloomington for its commitment to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit its residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices.
“When we build an America where bicycling is truly safer and easier for everyone, we are strengthening our nation’s economic vibrance, environmental welfare, and mental and physical well-being. That’s why we’re proud to celebrate all of the new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities in our movement to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists.
The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program sets the standard for how communities build and benchmark progress toward making biking better. Earlier this year, the League made major updates to add and integrate equity and accessibility into the program’s application and emphasize the importance of building and connecting low-speed and low-stress bike networks.
As one of 41 communities in the US to receive a gold BFC award or higher, Bloomington has demonstrated its commitment to improving conditions for all people who bike through investments in bike education programs, regular bike events that promote and encourage people to choose biking, pro-bike policies, and bike infrastructure.
“Cycling is a major mode of transportation in Bloomington, and there is a responsibility on the City to provide a complete low-stress bike network,” said Hank Duncan, City of Bloomington Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator. “I applaud City leaders for the strides taken in recent years with projects like the 7-Line and the Neighborhood Greenway Program. The next step in prioritizing vulnerable road user safety is to create a comprehensive Vision Zero Action Plan committing Bloomington to the goal of zero traffic fatalities or severe injuries among all road users. ”
More than 860 communities have applied for recognition by the Bicycle Friendly Community program, which provides a roadmap to making biking better for communities of all shapes and sizes. While the award process considers very visible elements such as bike infrastructure, other essential elements include efforts around adult and youth bike education, encouragement through events like Bike to Work Day, evaluation mechanisms, and enforcement, all through the lens of equity. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself, and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists and active transportation advocates to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.
Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices. Bloomington has previously been recognized as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community in 2014 and 2019, as a Silver Level Community in 2010, and as a Bronze Level Community in 2003 and 2007.
“This award is a recognition of Bloomington’s high quality of life and commitment to sustainability,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Continuing to plan for infrastructure that is low to no emission and supports a healthy and connected community is good for Bloomington now and in the future.”
To learn more about the BFC program, visit: bikeleague.org/community
Learn more about the City’s efforts at: bloomington.in.gov/transportation/bike