League Names Orlando a Bicycle-Friendly Community
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 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 Orlando, Florida with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community designation; the League has now honored 44 communities across the nation with the award. Laura Hallam, Florida Bicycle Association executive director , will present the award on Monday, November 15 at 2:00PM a t the City Council meeting , which will take place on the second floor of City Hall at 400 South Orange Avenue.
The Bicycle Friendly Community award recognizes Orlando's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling and the years of effective work of the Orlando Transportation Planning Bureau and the Bicycle Advisory Committee to make Orlando bicycle-friendly. Through long-term commitment and focused investment in bicycling programs and facilities, Orlando has made enormous progress since 1990, when Bicycling magazine ranked Orlando among the nation's worst cities for cycling.
Orlando 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 Orlando for its efforts to welcome bicyclists and make bicycling safer and more enjoyable. We applaud Orlando 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.”
Orlando is the fourth community in Florida to receive the BFC award. Gainesville received the silver-level BFC award; Boca Raton and Miami Beach have won the bronze. Orlando's bronze-level award suggests there are still significant opportunities to do more to encourage bicycling. The League looks forward to working with Orlando to achieve an even higher level of designation in the future.
The League's BFC reviewers were impressed that Orlando's ongoing 1,000+acre Baldwin Park project, one of the largest in-city redevelopment projects in the country , will be particularly bicycle friendly. It will also conveniently tie into Orlando's bike network, outlined in its Bikeways Plan. The city reduced transportation impact fees on the Baldwin Park project because of its efficient connections to the Bikeway network. The Council for Sustainable Florida awarded Baldwin Park, on the site of the former Orlando Naval Training Center, a 2004 Sustainable Florida Award.
Orlando's most recent Bike to Work Day included a ride to City Hall led by Mayor Dennis Duyer. In his address, the Mayor announced that the city had surpassed its 200-mile benchmark for bikeways in Orlando ahead of schedule.
The League also applauds Orlando's bicycle education efforts, which have made bicycling safer and more enjoyable in the city. Last June, a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) offered a training program for local schoolteachers aimed at improving their bike safety education for kids in their schools. The LCI also taught a course in bicycle use and safety to Walt Disney World employees.
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 Orlando 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 Orlando 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 57 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 .
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phone - 202-822-1333 fax - 202-822-1334 email - [email protected]