[MINNEAPOLIS, MN] –St. Louis Park moves up in the ranks from bronze, the entry-level ranking, to silver with their Bicycle Friendly (BFC) award, and Grand Marais and New Ulm successfully renewed their Bicycle Friendly Community awards at Silver and Bronze respectively by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). Minnesota, the third most bicycle-friendly state in the U.S., now boasts 32 BFCs.
BFC awards recognize the commitment of the communities of St. Louis Park, Grand Marais and New Ulm to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
“Grand Marais is a beautiful little town where clean transportation and active living are a priority. Thanks to the work of the Active Living Steering Committee, in collaboration with the City of Grand Marais, Cook County, local community members, and local stakeholder groups, we are able to continue our mission of “Partnership for programs, policies and places supporting active living in Cook County,” said Andrea Orest, Cook County SHIP Coordinator. “Without all of the dedicated members of our community, the honor of being a Silver Level Bike Friendly City would not be possible.”
“Having 32 BFC’s in Minnesota shows that local leaders statewide recognize that good biking and walking is something that residents and businesses want and is worth investing in,” said Dorian Grilley, Executive Director of BikeMN. “BikeMN is happy to have provided technical assistance to communities who are interested in growing their local bike culture and becoming more bicycle-friendly.”
Bicycling creates revenue and jobs for our state. It brings tourists (and their pocketbooks) to towns for community rides, scenic adventures, and visiting friends. Bicycling keeps people of all ages healthy and hearty. 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 700distinct 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.