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League Names Chico a Bicycle-Friendly Community




October 27, 2004

Contact: Patrick J. McCormick

Communications Director

League of American Bicyclists

Phone: 202-822-1333; Fax: 202-822-1334

Email: [email protected]


Washington, DC—The League of American Bicyclists is recognizing Chico, California with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community designation; the League has now honored 44 communities across the nation with the award. Paul Dorn, the Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition, will present the award on Tuesday, November 2 at 6:30 PM at the City Council meeting, held at 421 Main Street.


The Bicycle Friendly Community award recognizes Chico's historic commitment to improving conditions for bicycling and its practice of making focused investment in bicycling programs and facilities. Much of the credit for the award must go to Chico's Bicycle Advisory Committee, which meets every other month to respond to bicycling issues and plan future projects that focus on making the city more bicycle-friendly.


Chico 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 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 Chico for its efforts to welcome bicyclists and make bicycling safer and more enjoyable. We applaud Chico 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.”


Chico is the eighth community in California to receive the BFC award. Palo Alto received the gold-level BFC award; Folsom, Santa Barbara, and Stanford University have won the silver; and Brentwood, Mountain View, and the Presidio have been granted the bronze. Chico's bronze-level award suggests there are still significant opportunities to do more to encourage bicycling. The League looks forward to working with Chico to achieve an even higher level of designation in the future.


The League's BFC reviewers were impressed that Chico boasts a 5.2% bicycle mode share, one of the highest levels in the country, and about five times the national average, according to the 2000 Census. By requiring that new development in Chico accommodate bicyclists, and utilizing funds generated from development impact fees to support bicycle facilities throughout the community, Chico clearly shows a long-term commitment to improving the community for bicycling.


Another of Chico's outstanding features for bicyclists is Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country. It not only welcomes road and mountain biking but, because the Park cannot be easily traversed by car, its limited motor vehicle traffic makes bicycling even more attractive. The wonderfully scenic Wildflower Century, sponsored by the Chico Velo Cycling Club, is in its 23rd year. The ride has expanded to offer rides of varying distances and participation has grown from 60 riders to 3,000, coming from near and far.


League staff and reviewers consider several factors before granting a community BFC status, including:

  • The physical environment for bicycling -- on-street facilities, trails, parking etc.

  • Education programs to promote a "share the road" ethic among bicyclists and drivers

  • Promotional initiatives to persuade people to ride or ride more often

  • Enforcement of traffic laws for both motorists and bicyclists

  • Future plans and evaluation techniques to improve conditions further

The League's BFC program has become a catalyst for positive change in communities across the country. Clarke said that, "We encourage Chico 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 Chico 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 ( ) and Bikes Belong Coalition ( ).



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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 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit and .

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phone - 202-822-1333 fax - 202-822-1334 email - [email protected]

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