League Names Lawrence a Bicycle-Friendly Community
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2004
Contact: Patrick J. McCormick
League of American Bicyclists
Phone: 202-822-1333; Fax: 202-822-1334
Email: [email protected]
Washington, DC—The League of American Bicyclists is recognizing Lawrence, Kansas with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community designation; the League has now honored 44 communities across the nation with the award. Eric Struckhoff, Chair of Lawrence's Bicycle Advisory Committee, will present the award to the City Commission on October 19 at 6:30PM at the City Council meeting. The Bicycle Friendly Community award recognizes the excellent work, led by Mayor Rundle and the City Council, to make Lawrence bicycle-friendly, as well as the efforts of Bill Ahrens and the Bicycle Advisory Committee.
Lawrence was granted the bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award following a detailed audit of the city's efforts to provide safe accommodation and facilities for bicyclists and to encourage residents to bike for transportation and recreation. The application process is rigorous; just 44 of the 98 applicants for the BFC award have been granted the designation. Please visit www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org to learn more about the awards process and the communities the League has honored with the BFC prize.
Andy Clarke, Executive Director of the League, said, "The League is delighted to recognize Lawrence for its efforts to welcome bicyclists and make bicycling safer and more enjoyable. We applaud Lawrence and our other BFC winners for their willingness to invest over the long-term in creating a better, more livable environment for their citizens. BFCs typically enjoy levels of bicycle use that are well above the national average and consequently they are reaping the rewards of cleaner air, less congestion, safer streets, and a more active and healthy population.”
Lawrence is just the second community in Kansas to receive the award (Shawnee was the first); a bronze-level award suggests there are still significant opportunities to do more to encourage bicycling. The League looks forward to working with Lawrence to achieve an even higher level of designation in the future.
The League's BFC reviewers were impressed that Lawrence stands out among cities in Kansas and the Plains region for its high level of bicycle use. According to the 2000 census, 1.3% of Lawrence's population regularly bikes to work—almost three times the national average. Lawrence has a well-developed bicycle network which offers the potential for significant expansion through the implementation of the city's recently adopted bicycle plan.
Lawrence is a leader in encouraging cycling and educational efforts to improve the safety of the activity. The city has dedicated September to bicycle education for children; May is Bicycle Awareness Month, focused on educating all road users about bicycle regulations and safety. Lawrence recently upgraded bike-parking facilities in Downtown Lawrence, one of the city's primary shopping and entertainment districts, to make it both safer and more practical to bike to work and on errands.
staff and reviewers consider several factors before granting a community
BFC status, including:
The League's BFC program has become a catalyst for positive change in communities across the country. Clarke said that, "We encourage Lawrence to continue its steady work to improve conditions for bicycling and to try to achieve a higher-level award in a year or two. None of the communities we've designated have been satisfied with the level of their award. They all want to do better; they want to do more to encourage bicycling, and they want to move up to the next level. We are confident Lawrence can do just that.”
The League's Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign is a national grassroots effort to increase the number of trips made by bike, promote physical fitness, and help make communities more livable. The Campaign works in the most effective way possible-town by town, city by city-to encourage bicycling and achieve a bicycle-friendly America. The Campaign is supported by generous grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ( www.rwjf.org ) and Bikes Belong Coalition ( www.bikesbelong.org ).
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The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 50 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org and www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org. May is National Bike Month™; visit www.bikemonth.com for safe cycling tips, promotional ideas, and events in your area.
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The League of American Bicyclists, 1612 K Street NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20006-2802
phone - 202-822-1333 fax - 202-822-1334 email - [email protected]