Tacoma and Snohomish have earned spots on the The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Communities list. Both communities earned Bronze level recognition, joining 214 other communities in the nation on the list.
Port Townsend moved up a spot in the list, trading in their Bronze for a Silver. The League also rechecked Vancouver, Wash. and renewed its Bronze.
Seattle remains the only community in Washington to earn a Gold rating.
Biking Bis reports that the League had more new and renewing applicants than ever before. Durango, Colo. and Missoula, Mont. both joined the Gold level.
The graph is rather hard to read. So Seattle “has it all” except evaluation, yet Bellingham lacks “Enforcement”?
What Snohomish really needs to do is put a shoulder (or a path nearby) of Airport Way. That road is a disaster, and the only real way into town on a bike from the south.
As nice as it is to get a pat on the back, I’d hate to think the League really believes Seattle has already done everything right (which is what a gold star means in most contexts). Engineering: well we do have a few nice multi-use trails and some paint on the roads that comes and goes erratically – but that’s barely a start on bike (and peds)-friendly infrastructure. Education: Cascade works hard at this, but what proportion of kids learn cycling and cycling rules in school? And what proportion of adults learned safe driving around bikes in drivers ed, or were taught the meaning of sharrows? Encouragement: Well we do have Bike Month, and I suppose the appearance of sharrows and wayfinding signs counts as encouragement. But real, everyday encouragement including safe, convenient, visible bike parking, incentives for shoppers and commuters who bike, and most important a connected network for cycling? Not so much. And what do they mean by Enforcement? Are drivers cited for driving in bike lanes or turning in front of bikes? And what happened to the drivers who killed cyclists last year? Not a whole lot.
It seems to me if Seattle rates a star for well-intended but still only baby steps in these areas, we should also get a star for Evaluation. The City has done great before-and-after studies of Road Diets, and has consistently performed bicycle counts for years. Hardly comprehensive – but at least as good as the work done in the other four areas!
Anyway, if Seattle deserves a Gold for bike friendliness, I pity the poor folks who only rated Silver or Bronze!
Well, it is the American League of Bicyclists. Our level of competition is sadly low.
Good point, Al. If it were the International League of Bicyclists, we would be getting a smiley-face for effort.
I’d like to do a Seattle Meets Tacoma bike ride. Is that something people do a lot, bike between the two cities? I’ve only used transit to get to Tacoma.