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League Names Eugene a Bicycle-Friendly Community




November 1, 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 Eugene, Oregon with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community designation; the League has now honored 44 communities across the nation with the award. Sue Wolling, the Eugene Bicycle Coalition chair, will present the award to Mayor Jim Torrey at the November 8 City Council meeting. The meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at 777 Pearl Street.


The Bicycle Friendly Community award recognizes Eugene's historic commitment to improving conditions for bicycling and its practice of making focused investment in bicycling programs and facilities. Diane Bishop, Eugene's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and the Eugene Bicycle Coalition have been instrumental in many of the programs and projects over the years that have made Eugene a great place to bike. Ms. Bishop will retire on November 5th, ending 30 years of service to the city.


Eugene was granted the silver-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 Eugene for its efforts to welcome bicyclists and make bicycling safer and more enjoyable. We applaud Eugene 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.”


Eugene is the fifth community in Oregon to receive the BFC award joining Ashland, Beaverton, Corvallis and Portland. The League looks forward to working with Eugene and other communities in Oregon to achieve an even higher level of designation in the future.


Bicyclists in Eugene benefit from the city's long-term commitment to bicycling, which has contributed to its 5.5% bicycle mode share, one of the highest levels in the country, and about five times the national average, according to the 2000 Census. The League's BFC reviewers were very impressed with Eugene's innovative on and off-road bicycle facilities such as the stunning Willamette River trails and bridges, Eugene's ample provision of bike racks, and the lighting at night of most of the city's bike paths. Other impressive aspects include top-notch education programs for youth. Eugene's Smart Ways to School, a local version of the popular Safe Routes to School movement, brings together groups of young cyclists with parent volunteers who accompany the children along designated, safe routes to school.


Programs like Eugene's People Powered Fridays and its Business Commute Challenge are models for other communities to consider when putting together their own programs to promote bicycling. In Eugene's Bike Month celebration, participants commit to getting to work by bike or on foot at least one day a week—a great way to promote physical activity and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.


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 Eugene to continue its steady work to improve conditions for bicycling and to try to achieve a gold-level or even a platinum-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 Eugene 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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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]

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