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Akron, Ohio

New Bicycle Friendly Communities Announced

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of stephanie york
Published: 05-14-2014

 Health and wellness top list of motivations to become bike friendly 

 

Washington, D.C. -- As we continue to celebrate National Bike to Work Week, the League of American Bicyclists today announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC).

 

With nearly 40 million Americans bicycling in 2012 and U.S. bike commuting increasing more than 61% from 2000 to 2012, there's growing consensus that making biking better is a key component of a healthy, livable community. 

 

With this impressive round of 18 new BFCs, there are now 303 BFCs in 48 states. The BFC program is helping transform the way communities evaluate quality of life by assessing investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and municipal policies.

 

"This round of applications overwhelmingly confirms what we heard from local elected officials at the National Bike Summit this year -- riding a bike embodies the quality-of-life aspirations of communities across the country," said League President, Andy Clarke. "Making this healthy and active transportation mode safe and easy is of growing importance to the 8 million residents of New York City and the 6,000 people in Franklin, Pa. alike. We're excited that these communities have made the smart and vital investments to become a designated Bicycle Friendly Community."

 

See the full list of Bicycle Friendly Communities here. An additional 28 communities received Honorable Mentions.

 

Milledgeville, Ga., was 1 of 49 communities selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to work to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic through policy and system changes. One of the main goals of that initiative was to gain a Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League. Today, Milledgeville is now a Bronze-level BFC.

 

"Milledgeville is proud to have earned the designation as a bicycle friendly community from The League of American Bicyclists," said Mayor Richard Bentley. "We have worked over the past several months to make our community more inviting to bicyclists and to encourage more citizens to utilize bicycles as a means of transportation, recreation, and exercise. We hope this will aid in our message to encourage citizens to get active and help our community in several ways to include traffic issues, parking, and the environment."

 

Edina, Minn., in 2013 established a dedicated special revenue fund to finance bicycle and pedestrian improvements -- one of the very few communities across the country to dedicate funds toward bike and pedestrian projects.

 

"We are so honored to receive this Bronze Award from the League of American Bicyclists, and  are grateful for their advocacy efforts around the country to make biking a fun, safe, and convenient transportation option for all ages and abilities," said Josh Sprague, Edina City Council member. "For Edina, this award recognizes the intense collaboration that has taken place between staff, residents, and elected officials to transform Edina into a progressive, bike-friendly community where residents can easily integrate biking into their daily lives."

He continued: "As a father of 4 and a child of the 80's, it's a dream of mine to see more kids biking to school again.  The benefits to our kids' health, wellness, self-confidence, and academic performance are many.  For the broader community, biking can improve health outcomes, stimulate the local economy, and provide another option for those who cannot afford a car."

 

Learn more about the program and view the full list of Bicycle Friendly Communities at

www.bikeleague.org/bfa.

 

  *** 

 

About the Bicycle Friendly America Program: The Bicycle Friendly America program provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling, and ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness. The program is generously supported by Trek Bicycle. Learn more.  

 

About the League: The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a more 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. Learn more.

 

 

 

 

For further information, contact:
stephanie york
communications director
Phone: 330-375-2345
E-mail: syork@akronohio.gov

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