Bicycle Friendly Communities & Cities

Making your city or community more bicycle friendly is beneficial to residents, and it can help your community grow and even be recognized as being a leader in bicycle awareness. The League of American Bicyclists created four levels (bronze, silver, gold, platinum) of bicycle friendliness that cities and communities can achieve based on the efforts in their area to support cycling, Below is a list of resources to help you get started, as well as a list of those who have already been recognized. 

Criteria for Becoming a Bicycle Friendly City

The five E’s are the guidelines for creating a bicycle friendly environment in your area. They are:


• Complete Streets
• Training for staff
• Bike parking
     › Ordinances
• Infrastructure
     › On-road network
     › Shared-use paths
     › Singletrack
• Intersections
    › Time traffic lights
    › Video/loop detection
    › Bike boxes
• Maintenance


• Motorists/public outreach
     › Share the Road
• Adults 
     › Smart Cycling
     › Commuter skills
• Children
     › SRTS 
     › Rodeos
• Professional drivers
• League Certified Instructors


• National Bike Month 
     › Bike to Work/School Week/Day
• Rides, races & family friendly events 
     › Open Streets
• Commuter outreach programs 
     › National Bike Challenge
• Bike sharing
• Bike parks, velodromes, other bikin


• Laws
     › Safe passing
     › Enforce distracted driving
     › No restrictive laws except sidewalk riding
 • Training for Police Officers
• Diversion programs
     › Road safety training vs. ticket
• Police involvement
     › Bike patrol
     › Helmet/light giveaways
• Targeted enforcement
     › Motorists and cyclists
     › Positive ticketing

Evaluation & Planning

• Bicycle coordinator
• Active Bicycle Advisory Committee
• Comprehensive bike plan
     › Ensure dedicated funding
• Monitoring use
• Address crashes/fatalities 
• TDM programs
• Target undeserved neighborhoods & demographics


Research from the League of American Bicyclists also found that there are four main target audiences within the community:

1. Strong and fearless

2. Confident and enthused

3. Interested but concerned

4. No way, no how 

The “Interested but concerned” group are the best audience to target since they typically make up the majority and making changes can encourage them to start cycling as they start to feel safer. Recomendations for this group include:

• Protected bike lanes/cycle tracks
• Shared-use trail network
• Safe Routes to School
• Bike sharing program
• Family-friendly/social bike events
• Bike parking
• Reducing car speeds and volumes
• Bike Advisory Committee

For more info on the changes you can implement to make your community more bicycle friendly, or to submit an application for judging, follow the links below.