Apply to be a bike-friendly community
Almost all of Businessweek’s top 20 “most desirable places to live” are also official “bike-friendly” communities.
“Young people look for places where they’ll have lots of fitness opportunities,” said Kim Coram, Parkersburg city council member and one of the founders of the West Virginia Mountain Biking Association. “So if you can say you’re bike-friendly, that’s a big plus.”
“Businesses and people like it when you can say you’re a bike-friendly community,” said C.J. Rylands, Create Buckhannon organizer, said. “It’s a plus when you’re trying to attract businesses and families.”
The League of American Bicyclists certifies communities as bike-friendly. See below to find out how your community can apply.
Morgantown was the first certified bike-friendly West Virginia community. After Parkersburg applied, the League sent them a detailed list of steps they need to take. “They basically sent us a roadmap of steps we need to take next,” Coram said. “That’s really useful.”
Rylands advises other communities to apply, even if they’re not ready. “Buckhannon won’t make bike-friendly status yet,” he said, “but we’ll apply anyhow, so we can get on their radar and get feedback on what we need to do next.”
Parkersburg also applied before they were ready, Coram said. “The League sent us a list of what we need to do.” They attached the list to a grant application to fund the steps the League recommended, and they got the funding!
- See what’s involved in being a bike-friendly community: http://www.bikeleague.org/content/bfa-blueprint. This is a roadmap from the League of American Bicyclists.
- How to apply for bike-friendly status: http://apply.bikeleague.org/member.php?act=login
- Getting the Wheels Rolling: A Guide to Using Policy to Create Bicycle Friendly Communities: excellent guidefrom Changelab Solutions. http://changelabsolutions.org/bike-policies
- A roadmap to getting certified as a bike-friendly community from the League of American Bicylists: http://www.bikeleague.org/bfa
- From Changelab Solutions, healthy living policy nonprofit: http://changelabsolutions.org/healthy-planning/search-tools?tid=51&tid_2=All&keys=&=Search
- Morgantown Bikes: Web site from West Virginia’s first bike-friendly community, including safe biking courses, biking maps, calendar of events, articles, etc. http://bikemorgantown.com
- How does West Virginia stack up as a bike-friendly state? Every year, the League rates the states on bike friendliess. In 2014, West Virginia is 44th, but we’re getting better. We used to be 48th. http://bikeleague.org/bfa/awards#business
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