National organization names CH a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community
In an Oct. 15 news release, the City of Cleveland Heights announced that it has been named a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists.
According to the news release, Cleveland Heights joins an increasing number of city leaders across the country who are recognizing the environmental, financial and quality of life benefits that come with [being] a bicycle-friendly community.
"Cleveland Heights is playing a critical part in creating a truly Bicycle Friendly America," said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. "We know Cleveland Heights' investment in bicycling will be returned many times over in the health, environmental, and quality of life benefits of a thriving community."
The BFC program is transforming the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this impressive round, there are now 291 BFCs in 48 states across America. The bronze level BFC award recognizes Cleveland Heights' commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
Cleveland Heights Mayor Edward J. Kelley stated, "Our community has always been committed to health and fitness and protecting our environment. In 2010, we received a BFC honorable mention. This encouraged us to move forward with collaboration between the City, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District and the Heights Bicycle Coalition to improve our town as more bicycle friendly. Councilwoman Mary Dunbar led the effort and the dedication of all involved brought us to the Bronze designation."
Kelley continued, "Our commitment is ongoing. Before the end of this year, Cleveland Heights will have a Transportation Advisory Committee comprised of citizens and staff who will advise on transportation alternatives. In addition, we are completing School Travel Plans for representative schools so that we can pursue Safe Routes to School initiatives. This will encourage our young people to learn the health and environmental benefits of walking or biking to school."
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 500 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 free BFC program, visit www.bikeleague.org.
About the Bicycle Friendly America Program
The Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are generously supported by program partner Trek Bicycle. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/bfa.
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 its website.
About the City of Cleveland Heights
Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is a diverse, progressive suburb with 46,000 residents, just up the hill from Cleveland's cultural amenities and major employers. Cleveland Heights offers a rich variety of homes, many nationally recognized for architectural merit as part of 10 historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As one of Ohio's most walkable communities, Cleveland Heights also has great parks and recreational facilities, authentic shopping districts, award-winning restaurants and libraries, theaters and excellent educational opportunities at our public, private and parochial schools. The City attracts many from the "creative class" (e.g., authors, artists, and musicians) or engaged in professions and business, as well as many desiring a better quality of life. Visit the City's website for more information: www.clevelandheights.com.
About the Heights Bicycle Coalition
The Heights Bicycle Coalition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and encouraging Heights community members to use bicycles as a sustainable and healthy form of transportation and recreation. More information may be found at www.bikesintheheights.org.
Heights Observer Editor