This morning, the League of American Bicyclists announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities. The new list includes Stevens Point as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community. This is Stevens Point’s first time on the list.
Stevens Point’s initial recognition as a BFC is a notable milestone. It helps us realize the value in creating policies and infrastructure that make bicycling safe, comfortable, and convenient for all citizens. It identifies our city as a vibrant place, to the financial benefit our retail establishments. It encourages graduates from our exceptional schools to remain here to start their families, which in turn encourages businesses to relocate here to take advantage of our quality workforce. It attracts tourists – and the dollars they spend – from all over Wisconsin and beyond its borders.
The LAB gives BFC awards at several levels depending on a community’s ranking in a number of categories based on the 5 E’s: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation. The Bronze level is the entry level award. As communities improve their bicycle-friendliness, they can achieve Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond level recognition.
Currently, no community in the US has achieved Diamond status, and only 4 have achieved Platinum: Boulder, CO; Davis, CA; Fort Collins, CO; and Portland, OR. The Wisconsin community that ranks highest is Madison, recognized as a Gold level BFC.
From the LAB website, their mission is to “promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.” Their Bicycle Friendly America program, which the BFC awards are part of, not only gives recognition to places that are bicycle-friendly but also inspires communities to make more progress in making bicycling “a real transportation and recreation option for all people.”
Follow this link to see the new list of BFCs released by the LAB this morning. Stevens Point appears towards the bottom of page 3. You can also read the LAB blog post announcing the release of their list here.
The City of Stevens Point website has posted the news about being named a BFC. You can read that post here.
All of us in Stevens Point can congratulate ourselves on this outstanding achievement. Yet it is important to realize that there is still much more to accomplish. Once our city realizes its potential for all women and men from 8- to 80-years-old to feel safe and comfortable choosing a bicycle for getting around our city, only then might we be ready to rest on our laurels.
For now, let’s allow ourselves a little extra Bike Fun to celebrate Stevens Point’s recognition as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.
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