Lawrence was awarded the bronze certification in October 2004, and renewed it in 2006 and again in 2008. The renewal is not automatic — the bar is continually being raised, and communities who are not improving may lose their designation, as happened to Iowa City, Iowa in 2007. So for Lawrence to retain their bronze-level designation means that the city is still improving, though not enough to merit a higher-level award.
Two cities in Colorado, however, have earned a promotion.
Boulder made the leap from Gold to Platinum, becoming only the third U.S. city (joining Portland, Oregon and Davis, Calififornia) to have earned this top designation.
“Boulder well deserves the platinum designation,” Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, said, “because they are actually delivering the quality of life benefits to which so many other communities aspire. The number of single occupant vehicles is falling; bike use, walking and transit is increasing. People can get almost everywhere in town by bike – and it’s a normal thing to do.”
“The city isn’t perfect, however. Bicycle use is still low by comparison to equivalent cities in Europe, and there are still clear needs for improved infrastructure and better access to mountain biking in the city. The really great news we can share with you today is that Boulder is categorically not stopping at Platinum! The Mayor, city council, city manager and the entire Boulder bicycling community is committed to making those improvements and being a world class city for bicyclists.”
The other Colorado community to move up is Fort Collins, which stepped up from Silver to Gold, joining eight other U.S. communities with the gold designation (Corvallis OR, Madison WI, Palo Alto CA, Stanford University CA, San Francisco CA, Tucson AZ, Seattle WA, and Jackson WY).
Two Iowa communities, Cedar Falls and Des Moines, were given “honorable mentions”. “It is important to recognize communities as they begin to build bicycle friendliness into their network. But a designation only goes to communities with established records in two or more of the five categories,” Clarke said.
The five categories local and national reviewers look at are:
- Education: Does the community have systems in place to train children and adult cyclists?
- Engineering: Are bicyclists included in the city’s transportation plan?
- Enforcement: Do police officers understand and enforce bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities?
- Encouragement: Does the community participate in Bike Month, offer bike rodeos, host community bike rides, or otherwise encourage cycling?
- Evaluation: Does the community have methods in place to ensure their bicyclist programs are making a difference?
There are now 96 awarded communities in 32 states, and since the program’s inception in 2003, 245 communities have applied.