Posted by Editoress on 05/4/21
For more than a decade, Share the Road Cycling Coalition (STR) has been running the Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) award program, which provides communities with a comprehensive roadmap to evaluate current conditions for cycling, and guidance to foster safe bikeable communities for all ages and abilities.
On May 4th, STR and its partner, the Canadian Automobile Association, announced that ten communities across Canada have been awarded a new or higher BFC designation, and three communities that are being recognized with an honourable mention.
Silver awards go to:
• Canmore, AB
• Collingwood, ON
• Cornwall, ON
• Markham, ON
• Oakville, ON
• Thunder Bay, ON
Bronze awards go to:
• Calgary, AB
• Kelowna, BC
• Petawawa, 8 Saskatoon, SK
Honourable mentions go to:
• Bracebridge, ON
• Port Alberni, BC
• Stratford, ON
A complete list of BFC award winners can be found Here.
Interest in cycling has grown in Canada and around the world, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail stores are experiencing high demand for bikes, and many communities are working quickly to add temporary cycling infrastructure to accommodate the ever-increasing number of people out on bikes. With their demonstrated commitment to cycling, the newest BFC award-winners and honourable mention recipients are well-positioned to take advantage of this cycling enthusiasm.
Their investments in Bicycle Master Plans, infrastructure to address gaps in cycling networks, and educational and outreach programming for residents have helped improve safety and will no doubt keep cycling rates up beyond the pandemic.
"We are delighted to be recognizing so many communities in this BFC award announcement," said Dr. Subha Ramanathan, Bicycle Friendly Communities Manager at STR. "Our recipient communities range in size from under 15,000 people to over 1 million, and have varying climate conditions and geography. This demonstrates that any community can be bicycle friendly."
"While no two communities at a given award level look the same, there is a shared commitment to provide residents and visitors with options and opportunities to cycle. There are many paths to becoming bicycle friendly," Dr. Ramanathan added. "Our BFC award program helps communities track their progress, learn from one another, and receive public acknowledgement for their efforts. The structure and feedback that we provide encourages continuous improvement over time."
CAA has been a partner in the BFC program at Share the Road since the beginning. CAA support has been instrumental in helping the program grow over the years. Today's announcement of winners means STR now has 49 designated Bicycle Friendly Communities, and 14 communities acknowledged with an honourable mention.
"More communities join the ranks of BFC award-winners every year, and we are pleased to see that positive trend," said Ian Jack, vice president of public affairs at CAA National. "Communities increasingly understand the many benefits of cycling and are investing resources to reap those benefits locally. CAA is proud to support the BFC program so that communities receive the recognition they deserve for their investments."
About the Bicycle Friendly Communities Program and Share the Road Cycling Coalition
The Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) program, an initiative of the League of American Bicyclists, was launched in Canada by Share the Road Cycling Coalition in 2010. The program provides guidance, inspiration and award-recognition for communities that actively support bicycling. Municipalities are judged in four categories referred to as the four "Es": Engineering, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate achievements in all four categories to be considered for an award. The award categories are: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
Share the Road is an Ontario-based not-for-profit organization working to make communities across Canada bicycle friendly for people of all ages and abilities. We work in partnership with municipal, provincial and federal governments; the business community; road safety organizations; and other not-for-profits to:
• enhance access for bicyclists on roads and trails;
• improve safety for all bicyclists; and
• provide education about the value and importance of safe bicycling for healthy lifestyles and healthy communities.
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