WEST LAFAYETTE — On November 21st, the League of American Bicyclists honored the efforts of West Lafayette to build better places to bike with a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award, joining 488 communities across the country in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling. The award recognizes West Lafayette for its commitment to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit its residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices.
“Communities like West Lafayette are leading the nation when it comes to important livability factors that people want where they call home, like safe and accessible places to bike,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists. “West Lafayette joins 53 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities as part of a movement toward more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected places. Our nation and globe are facing complex public health and road safety challenges, and we’re proud that West Lafayette and communities like it are embracing bicycling.”
The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program sets the standard for how communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability, and accessibility, while allowing them to benchmark progress toward making biking better. With this latest round of 53 new and renewing awardees, there are currently 488 Bicycle Friendly Communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bronze BFC award recognizes West Lafayette’s commitment to improving conditions for all people who bike through investments in bike education programs, pro-bike policies, and bike infrastructure.
“We’re very proud of our trail and bike facility network in West Lafayette. There are over 37 miles of shared use paths within city limits, and there are several more miles of trails planned to be built. The infrastructure that we maintain and continue to grow makes it easier for all people to travel safely around our great city. It increases quality of life, accessibility for all, and encourages eco-friendly modes of transportation,” said Marcus Smith, the Assistant City Engineer for West Lafayette.
More than 850 communities have applied for recognition by the Bicycle Friendly Community program, which provides a roadmap to making biking better for communities of all shapes and sizes. While the award process considers very visible elements such as bike infrastructure, other essential elements include efforts around education, encouragement, evaluation, and enforcement all through the lens of equity. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself, and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists and active transportation advocates to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.
The five levels of the BFC award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices.
To learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.
About the League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting bicyclists’ rights. Learn more at www.bikeleague.org.