The League of American Bicyclists have named four new Bicycle Friendly Communities in Washington State: Bellevue, Ellensburg, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Port Angeles/Clallam County. Tacoma keeps its bronze rating.
Ellensburg (PDF) skips right over bronze and enters the listings at silver. With the highest bike commute rate in the state, that’s not a huge surprise. But the League suggests getting Central Washington University to step up its game in promoting cycling in this bike-loving small town.
Bellevue (PDF) squeaks into bronze despite getting 1/10 points for “Education” and 2/10 points for “Enforcement” of safety and “protecting bicyclists’ rights.” But there are some encouraging changes happening in Bellevue. Stay tuned for more on that.
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe (PDF) on the Olympic Peninsula has become the first tribe to get a Bicycle Friendly Community designation. The tribe hosts a summer bike camp for young riders and has been working to develop the Olympic Discovery Trail on their land.
Port Angeles and Clallam County (PDF) entered as one bronze-level community. The Olympic Discover Trail continues to grow, and Port Angeles has solid bike lane access to its commercial core. The League suggests continuing its bike network and growing programming for residents interested in cycling.
Tacoma (PDF) was up for renewal and kept its bronze rating. Tacoma really needs to step up its bike lane game, especially on high-speed arterials. The city also needs to up its bicycle education efforts at schools, says the League.
More details on the new rankings, from WA Bikes:
Ellensburg has the highest bicycle mode share (5 percent) of any Washington community. Its small town flavor, miles of scenic backroads, and the John Wayne Trail have sparked an interest for bicycle travel and tourism.
Bellevue is busy working on significant bicycle infrastructure improvements, including the addition of bike lanes to West Lake Sammamish Parkway and missing connections to the SR 520 corridor, and the installation of bike counters.
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is the first tribe to earn a BFC designation. Much of their bicycle work has been focused on the development of the Olympic Discovery Trail across tribal land. The tribe also hosts a summer Bike Camp, a week-long day camp aimed at giving young riders basic bike handling and safety skills and riding opportunities.
Port Angeles/Clallam County, with active bike and trail advocacy groups, is making great strides to complete their portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail and call out their region as a bicycle travel destination. Over half of all schools offer bicycle education to students, making use of the Safe Routes to School bike/walk safety education program developed by Washington Bikes.
Tacoma opened 13 miles of bikeway in 2014 and continues to implement projects identified in its Mobility Master Plan. The city has a diverse and active bike community, which includes monthly Kidical Mass rides and a community bike shop.