League Awards Madison Bicycle-Friendly Community Designation

May 15, 2006

Madison – Mayor Dave Cieslewicz kicked off Bike to Work Week today by announcing that the League of American Bicyclists is awarding Madison, Wisconsin its prestigious gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation. The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin presented the award on behalf of the League.

“Madison is just one of seven communities in the entire nation to earn this award for our efforts to make this a bicycle-friendly community,” said Mayor Cieslewicz. “Bicycling is good for your health, and at a time when gas is hitting $3 a gallon, it can also be good for your budget.”

The designation of Madison as a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) recognizes the city’s continued commitment to improving conditions for bicycling and its practice of making focused investments in bicycling programs and facilities. “Creating Bicycle Friendly Communities throughout Wisconsin is our main priority over the next few years. We are thrilled that Madison has been designated gold and we look forward to helping Madison go platinum,” said Dar Ward, Executive Director of Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

Madison won a gold-level BFC award following a detailed audit of the city’s efforts to provide safe accommodations and facilities for bicyclists and to encourage residents to bike for transportation and recreation during every season. The application process is rigorous; just 60 of the 160 applicants for the BFC award have been granted the designation.

Andy Clarke, executive director of the League, said, “The League is delighted to recognize Madison for its efforts to welcome bicyclists and make bicycling safer and more enjoyable. We applaud BFC communities for their willingness to invest over the long term in creating a better, more livable environment for their citizens.”

Madison and Milwaukee are currently the only Bicycle Friendly Communities designated in Wisconsin. Milwaukee received a bronze-level designation. League staff and reviewers consider several factors before granting a community BFC status, including:

· The physical environment for bicycling - on-street facilities, trails, parking etc.;
· Education programs to promote a “share the road” ethic among bicyclists and drivers;
· Promotional initiatives to persuade people to ride or ride more often;
· Enforcement of traffic laws for both motorists and bicyclists;
· Future plans and evaluation techniques to improve conditions further.

The League’s Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign is a national grassroots effort to increase the number of trips made by bike, promote physical fitness, and help make communities more livable. The Campaign is supported by the Bikes Belong Coalition (www.bikesbelong.org). The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org.

Bicycle-Friendly Communities 2006
(* = A community designated or promoted in April 2006)

Platinum
Davis, Calif.

Gold
Boulder, Colo.
Corvallis, Ore.
Madison, Wis.*
Palo Alto, Calif.
Portland, Ore.
San Francisco, Calif.*
Tucson/East Pima County, Ariz.*

Silver:
Bellingham, Wash.*
Chicago, Ill.
Eugene, Ore.
Folsom, Calif.
Fort Collins, Colo.
Gainesville, Fla.
Olympia, Wash.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Tempe, Ariz.
Tucson, Ariz.

Bronze:
Ada County, Idaho
Albuquerque, N.M.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Arlington, Va.
Ashland, Ore.
Auburn, Ala.
Beaverton, Ore.
Bend, Ore.
Bloomington, Ind.
Boca Raton, Fla.
Brunswick, Maine
Burlington, Vt.
Carrboro, N.C.
Cary, N.C.
Chandler, Ariz.
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Chico, Calif.
Denver, Colo.
Flagstaff, Ariz.*
Gilbert, Ariz.
Lawrence, Kan.
Longmont, Colo.
Mesa, Ariz.
Milwaukee, Wis.*
Mountain View, Calif.
Orlando, Fla.
Presidio of San Francisco, Calif.
Redmond, Wash.
Schaumburg, Ill.
Shawnee, Kan.
South Sioux City, Neb.*
Sunnyvale, Calif.*
Vancouver, Wash.
Washington, D.C.

Contact:
  • George Twigg, Mayor's Office, 608-266-4611
  • Elizabeth Preston, League of American Bicyclists, 202-822-1333
  • Dar Ward, Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, 608-251-4456