Cleveland gets a bicycle friendly community designation
\Kicking off National Bike to Work Week, the League of American Bicyclists today announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). Cleveland, Ohio made the list this year receiving a bronze level designation. Read the League of American Bicyclists press release about all the designations this round.
It is an exciting time to be on a bike in Cleveland. While we still have a long way to go in terms of installation of on-the-ground bicycle facilities compared to many cities on the BFC list, the City of Cleveland has paved the path for faster implementation through policies like the Complete and Green Streets Ordinance and better enforcement through the Bicycle Transportation Safety Ordinance, which requires motorists to give bicycles 3-feet when passing.
In addition to policies and infrastructure, the League of American Bicyclists also takes into account the culture that exists in a city when determining if it is worthy of a BFC designation. The following are key factors within Cleveland’s bike culture that have helped make Cleveland a Bronze Level BFC:
- The opening of the Clevleand Velodrome in 2012;
- The construction and opening of the commuter bike parking station, the Cleveland Bike Rack,
- The development of innovative on-street and off-street bike parking corrals, locally called the BikeBox;
- The growth of numerous social rides throughout Cleveland organized by grassroots groups including Crank Set Rides and Cleveland Critical Mass;
- The City of Cleveland’s convening of a bike share task force and the feasibility study for bike sharing that is currently underway;
- The construction of the Lorain Carnegie Bikeway in 2012;
- The opening of many bike-focused businesses including 4 community bike shops, 2 local bike rack fabricators, 2 bike touring companies, and a bicycle themed bar;
- The development of Bike Cleveland, the region’s voice advocating for safe, stress-free bike environments. Currently, the organization has over 400 members;
- The growth of businesses that value biking for economic and employee health reasons, including Clevleand’s only Bicycle Friendly Business, Squire Sanders;
- Numerous bike education programs led by the Ohio City Bicycle C0-op.
Our work towards creating a truly bicycle-friendly city does not end with a bronze level designation. We need to be bold in the way we are encouraging more people to bike in our city. This includes increased investments in connected infrastructure; developing policies that incentive biking over driving; and continuing to show the benefits of biking as a form of transportation, a way to improved health and environment, and a stronger economy.
Every Clevelander can help in this effort through participation in the many rides and events around Cleveland, by getting engaged in the ongoing dialogue towards creating more bike facilities, by visiting one of the many bike friendly businesses in our fine City, and by becoming a member of Bike Cleveland.