128 Second St. NW, Barberton, OH 44203

On being a Bicycle Friendly Community

by Ruth Kaser for Cycling Articles

Barberton’s compactness and ease of navigation make it attractive for persons desiring to commute around and to it by bicycle. On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon cyclists were everywhere, riding around Lake Anna, to and from the TowPath trail and around downtown. The League of American Bicyclists recognizes Bicycle Friendly Communities as bicycling is more than a practical, cost-effective solution to many municipal challenges. It’s also an opportunity to make our community a vibrant destination for residents and visitors — a place where people don’t just live and work, but thrive.

Since the creation of the Bicycle Friendly Community program in 1995 there have been over 1200 community applications processed by League staff. There are currently 416 recognized Bicycle Friendly Communities and over 100 Honorable Mention communities.  Barberton received an Honorable Mention and was listed in yesterdays release of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). A BFC welcomes bicyclists by providing safe accommodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life.   Each community that applies for a BFC award receives a report card. The report cards for communities that receive an award are available in the Leagues award database and communities that receive an Honorable Mention have their report card available for one year after its award. Explanations of each award level and key data from each report card are available here: http://bikeleague.org/content/building-blocks-bicycle-friendly-communities.

One more item of note, also from the League’s website,” This round saw six communities move up from an Honorable Mention to Bronze, nine communities receive a Bronze award on their first application, and 22 communities renewing as BFCs, including five that moved from a Bronze to a Silver award.” Will Barberton make the move up to Bronze, or higher next time?


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