The City of Yuma’s efforts to improve conditions for bicyclists are gaining increased recognition.
Yuma received “bronze” status as a Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) this year by the League of American Bicyclists, a bicycle advocacy, information and promotion group. This upgrades the City from last year’s honorable mention.
Yuma was one of 65 new and renewing BFCs announced in November. There are now over 400 BFCs in all 50 states.
“This designation highlights the City of Yuma’s continuing commitment to provide for all modes of transportation in the Yuma community,” noted City of Yuma Principal Planner Jennifer Albers. “Over the past year the City has completed the 16th Street and 4th Avenue intersection with the inclusion of bike lanes in all directions, the 32nd Street bicycle crossing and pedestrian island at the East Main Canal and the 40th Street pathway connecting the East Main Canal Linear Park to Avenue A.”
“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. The bronze BFC award recognizes Yuma’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
“One of the most amazing things about the Bicycle Friendly Community program is how diverse participating communities are” said Ken McLeod, Policy Director of the League of American Bicyclists. “This round is a great example of that, with towns as small as 588 people and counties of over 2 million. There are places with no bike lanes, but emerging bike cultures, as well as leading platinum cities. That all of these communities find value in the program speaks to the breadth of the program and its commitment to being a part of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
The BFC program provides a benchmark for communities to evaluate bike-friendly conditions and policies, while highlighting areas for improvement. The national scope of the program also promotes competition and comparison between communities.
The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community, and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award — diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze — provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.
To apply or learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.