ASPEN, CO. – Today, the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) recognized the City of Aspen with a gold level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. Aspen has previously been recognized as a silver level community and is joining five other communities, including Carbondale, Crested Butte and Breckenridge, that are designated as a gold level BFC in the state of Colorado. Colorado is ranked as the sixth most bicycle friendly state in the U.S. The gold level BFC award recognizes Aspen’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
“Providing safe, accessible bike options and routes for our community has been made possible because of the strong partnerships between the city, local biking organizations, transportation partners and bicyclists,” said city engineer, Trish Aragon. “The initiatives and programs that make Aspen bike-friendly are powered by insights from this community and strategic planning. City engineering is currently evaluating opportunities for making continued improvements to connectivity and bicycle infrastructure in 2019. We look forward to hearing more from the community about their observations on ways to enhance bike conditions in the city.”
Over recent years, the city has completed or initiated several key bike-friendly programs and projects including the Hopkins Bike Ped Way, Castle Creek Bridge / Hallam Street Improvement Project, the expanded WE-cycle program and phase II of the Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan.
2019 Bike-Friendly Projects
The city’s bike-friendly programs and projects are collaborative efforts among city’s engineering, parks and open space, police and transportation departments and rely on input from the community and local organizations.
“The connectivity and conditions of our bike infrastructure are important for how people across our community travel our city safely,” said parks and open space trails field supervisor, Brian Long. “I’m thrilled to see Aspen honored as bike-friendly community and excited to continue making progress.”
Current projects for City of Aspen Parks and Open Space include Castle Creek Trail to the Music School, a neighborhood trail at Burlingame, drainage and armor improvements on the Meadows Trail, and increased bike racks downtown.
In January, City of Aspen Engineering plans to present revised Engineering Standards to city council for adoption which refers to the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) guidelines. Engineering will also be leading new capital projects next year including the Hallam Street Bike Ped Way and Garmish Street improvements. In addition to bike condition improvements, both projects will address safety and connectivity concerns. Details for each project are being finalized and are expected to be announced next year.
LAB Bicycle Friendly Community Program
With the announcement of 61 new and renewing BFCs today, Aspen is part of a leading group of communities in every state that are transforming the American landscape.
“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected ommunities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
Since the Bicycle Friendly Community program’s inception over 20 years ago, more than 800 distinct communities have applied for recognition. The program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community for communities of all shapes and sizes. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself, and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.
The five levels of the BFC award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, plus an honorable mention category and a no designation level – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. The League of American Bicyclists provides feedback and guidance to every applicant community, regardless of award designation, with the goal of helping every community to improve. Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices.
The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability, and accessibility, while allowing them to benchmark progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this latest round of new and renewing awardees, there are currently 464 BFCs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
To learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.
About the Bicycle Friendly AmericaSM Program
The Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM, Bicycle Friendly StateSM, Bicycle Friendly BusinessSM and Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM programs are generously supported by program partner Eco-Counter and by League Members. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA
The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.