This week, the League of American Bicyclists honored the efforts of the City of Roanoke to build better places for people to bike with a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. The City of Roanoke joins 485 communities across the country in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. The award recognizes the City of Roanoke 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.
To celebrate the award, the City of Roanoke, along with the RIDE Solutions commuter assistance program, has designed a self-guided Bicycle Friendly Roanoke tour, highlighting many of the City's most recent accomplishments in making the community a safer place for people to cycle. Click this link to see a map of the tour.
“During one of the toughest years in recent memory, we have seen so many Americans turn to biking during the pandemic for fun and for necessary transportation options. It’s so important that communities like the City of Roanoke have laid the groundwork over several years to make biking a safe, accessible option for people when we all need as much health and happiness as possible,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “This Bicycle Friendly Community award is the culmination of years of work put in by The City of Roanoke and its citizen advocates for better biking. This award round, the City of Roanoke joins 51 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities in the movement toward healthier, more sustainable and connected places. As we turn the page on 2020 and look ahead to 2021, we’re proud that the City of Roanoke and communities like it are embracing bicycling as a solution to our collective recovery.”
The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program sets the standard for how communities build and benchmark progress toward making biking better. This round of awards includes 51 new and renewing awardees, joining a total of 485 current Bicycle Friendly Communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bronze BFC award recognizes Roanoke’s 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.
“This designation continues to validate the City's efforts to promote active transportation choices and healthy living,” said Public Works Director Mark Jamison. “With almost 50 miles of bike lanes to compliment a growing network of greenways and trails, commuting and recreational cycling are increasingly easy in Roanoke. As we look to the future, expansion of the network and education for our citizens will help to achieve health equity and transportation justice across the City.”
More than 850 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.
The five levels of the BFC award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. 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. To read the official announcement from the League of American Bicyclists regarding the communities honored in 2020, click here.
About the League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting bicyclists’ rights. Learn more at www.bikeleague.org.