The League of American Bicyclists is honoring the efforts of the City of Ann Arbor to build better places for people to bike with a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. The award recognizes Ann Arbor 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.
“We’re pleased the League of American Bicyclists has recognized the work done in Ann Arbor to improve cycling,” explained Raymond Hess, City of Ann Arbor transportation manager. “This honor is a testament to the hard work of the City of Ann Arbor, our elected officials, our partners, and the community at large. Collectively, we are working together to give people safe and sustainable choices in travel to all the places they want to go. We also take this honor with a great deal of humility as we know there is still far more work to be done as laid out in our Moving Together Towards Vision Zero – City of Ann Arbor Comprehensive Transportation Plan.”
In consideration for the award, Ann Arbor cited its:
- 26 miles of all ages and abilities network with 72 miles more planned.
- 20 lane miles of planned bicycle facilities to be installed in the next four years.
- Percentage of all trips in Ann Arbor made by walking, biking, or transit: 36%.
- Allen Creek Berm Project.
- William Street Bikeway and First Street protected bike lanes.
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 57 new and renewing awardees, joining a total of 497 current Bicycle Friendly Communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Gold-level BFC award recognizes Ann Arbor’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.
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.