Today, December 8, 2021, the League of American Bicyclists honored the efforts of the City of Encinitas to build better places for people to bike with a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. The City joins 497 communities across the country in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. The award recognizes the City for its commitment to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit its residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices.
“Biking has the power to transform our nation economically, environmentally and socially and it’s so important that communities like the City of Encinitas have laid the groundwork over several years to make biking a safe, accessible option for all. With many more Americans turning to biking as a fun way to get outdoors and as a necessary transportation option, we must keep the momentum to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone going,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “This Bicycle Friendly Community award is the culmination of years of work put in by Encinitas and its citizen advocates for better biking. With this award, Encinitas joins 57 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities in the movement toward healthier, more sustainable and connected places. As we gear up for what we hope to be a transformational new year for biking investments, we’re grateful that Encinitas and communities like it are pedaling alongside us to power the better bicycling movement.”
The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program sets the standard for how communities build and benchmark progress toward making biking better. This round of awards includes 57 new and renewing awardees, joining a total of 497 current Bicycle Friendly Communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bronze-level BFC award recognizes the City’s commitment to improving conditions for all people who bike through investments in bike education programs, regular bike events that promote and encourage people to choose biking, pro-bike policies, and bike infrastructure.
“I am proud that the City of Encinitas has made significant strides to become more bike-friendly,” said Crystal Najera, the City’s Sustainability Manager. “I am particularly hopeful that these efforts, along with the efforts of our residents who choose to bike as a mode of transportation, will enable the City to reach its Climate Action Plan goals. Emissions from vehicles make up about half of the overall green house gas emissions generated in our city. Other sources include natural gas used in buildings and combusted to produce electricity. Together, we can reduce our impact on the climate.”
More than 850 communities have applied for recognition by the Bicycle Friendly Community program, which provides a roadmap to making biking better for communities of all shapes and sizes. While the award process considers very visible elements such as bike infrastructure, other essential elements include efforts around adult and youth bike education, encouragement through events like Bike to Work Day, evaluation mechanisms, and enforcement all through the lens of equity. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists and active transportation advocates 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 – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously 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.
To learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.
About the League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting bicyclists’ rights. Learn more at www.bikeleague.org.
About the City of Encinitas
Located along six miles of Pacific Ocean coastline in northern San Diego County, Encinitas has an approximate population of 62,000 and is characterized by coastal beaches, flat-topped coastal areas, steep mesa bluffs and rolling hills. The city was incorporated in 1986, drawing together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain and Leucadia.