[MINNEAPOLIS, MN] – Today, Detroit Lakes was awarded for their efforts to build better places for people to bike with a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Award from the League of American Bicyclists. Willmar maintained their bronze-level BFC award and Proctor was recognized with honorable mention. A bronze-level award recognizes communities for their commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. There are 482 communities across the country that have received national recognition as Bicycle Friendly Communities, as part of the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. Minnesota, the third most bicycle-friendly state in the U.S., now boasts 32 BFCs.
“We’re excited to receive the designation as it reflects the investment and commitment made by our Community to make bicycling infrastructure and safety a high priority. Bicycling promotes tourism and encourages healthier living. Detroit Lakes is proud to be an active community and to have these great amenities,” said Mayor Matt Brenk, City of Detroit Lakes.
“BikeMN is thrilled that Detroit Lakes joins the ranks of Bicycle Friendly Communities here in Minnesota with a new bronze-level award. This recognition is well-deserved and also represents a coalition of local partners, including MnDOT District 4, who is a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Business,” said Dorian Grilley. “We also want to recognize the renewal of Willmar at bronze and Proctor being awarded an honorable mention. BikeMN continues to work with communities statewide to grow the bike culture here in Minnesota.”
Detroit Lakes is notably recognized by The League of American Bicyclists for implementing bike education programs at a high rate across elementary, middle, and high schools. This is foundational to a bike friendly culture and complements the work being done to create safer infrastructure for riding. Detroit Lakes previously worked to improve trail infrastructure, and has committed to expand trail networks to ease accessibility and better connect people to their city and to recreation areas like parks, mountain biking trails, and more.
Bicycling creates revenue and jobs for our state. It brings tourists (and their pocketbooks) to towns for community rides and scenic adventures. It also keeps Minnesotans healthy—both mentally and physically healthy. Small infrastructure projects like trails and sidewalks create nearly double the number of jobs per dollar spent than big highway projects. Cities are also working on plans to make their communities safer for youth to walk and bike to school.
About the BFC Award Program:
Since the Bicycle Friendly Community program’s inception over 20 years ago, more than 700 distinct communities in the U.S. have applied for recognition. The program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community for communities of all shapes and sizes. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself, and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community. Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices.
More about BikeMN:
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) is working to make Minnesota a place where bicycling is easy, safe, and fun for everyone. The mission of BikeMN is to unite and strengthen bicycle advocacy, provide education, and work for a more bicycle friendly Minnesota.
To learn more about the BFB program visit the League online at www.bikeleague.org/business. Explore the list of Spring 2020 Bicycle Friendly Businesses as a PDF or look through the full list of all current BFBs.