The League of American Bicyclists honored the efforts of Scottsdale to build better places to bike by designating it a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) for 2019 – 2023. The award recognizes Scottsdale 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 Scottsdale 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.
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 Gold BFC award recognizes Scottsdale’s commitment to improving conditions for all people who bike through investments in bike education programs, bike events that promote and encourage people to choose biking, pro-bike policies and bike infrastructure.
Scottsdale Councilwoman Solange Whitehead said her family chose Scottsdale because of biking. “Our kids would hop on bikes and end up miles away at Tempe Town Lake or thousands of feet up at Windgate Peak,” said Whitehead. “I cherish riding to work on the greenbelt and mountain biking in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I am not surprised that studies routinely show that bike-friendly cities are healthier, happier and more prosperous.”
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 and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists and active transportation advocates to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.
Scottsdale sought community input throughout the application process with public meetings and a survey. “We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to provide input during the process,” said Senior Transportation Planner Susan Conklu. “Not only does it help with the Bicycle Friendly Community application, but it helps us continue to improve biking in Scottsdale.”
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. Scottsdale is one of only 39 communities nationwide to achieve the gold-level or higher designation. 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.