City now one of two communities in Massachusetts to earn the Gold Level award
Designation is the result of a surge in construction and utilization of bicycle infrastructure, expansion of the Neighborways Program, and more efforts
SOMERVILLE – The League of American Bicyclists last week recognized the City of Somerville with a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award, advancing from the City’s previous Silver Level distinction. Somerville joins its neighbor Cambridge as one of only two communities in Massachusetts to earn the Gold Level award. There are 29 Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Communities across the country.
“Over the past four years, Somerville has continued to pedal closer to becoming a premiere bicycle community and the Gold Level award recognizes that,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “With the recent construction of protected bicycle lanes in Union Square and the upcoming completion of the cycle track on Beacon Street, as well as the expansion of the Neighborways program, residents and visitors of varying ages and abilities are seeing cycling more and more as a safe way to get around the city. But we do have more to do. In addition to expanding our bicycle program education efforts, we will continue to strive to expand our low-stress bicycling network and make it possible to travel throughout the city on safe and continuous bikeways.”
The Bicycle Friendly Community program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability, and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this round, there are now over 400 BFCs in all 50 states. The Gold Level BFC award recognizes Somerville’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies.
“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community, and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool. Since its inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award – Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.
As of Fall 2017, 430 communities are Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Communities. See the full list at www.bikeleague.org/community.
About the Bicycle Friendly AmericaSM Program
The Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM, Bicycle Friendly StateSM, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM programs are generously supported by program partner Eco-Counter and by League Members. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA
The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.