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Newport Named a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community

Thursday, October 17, 2013

 

Newport was just named a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, so strap on your helmet and go for a ride!

An increasing number of cities across the country, including Newport, are embracing bicycling and its benefits. The League of American Bicyclists recently announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) awards, and Newport has been named a Bronze BFC—the first BFC in the state of Rhode Island. The Bronze BFC award recognizes Newport’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in promotion, education, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

“Newport is playing a critical role in creating a truly Bicycle Friendly America," said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. "We know Newport’s investment in bicycling will be returned many times over in the health, environmental, and quality of life benefits of a thriving community.”
 
In May 2012, the Newport City Council recognized bicycle friendliness as a significant attraction to residents and tourists, and as a contribution to the well-being and overall quality of life of the community. The Council resolved to move forward with efforts to become a certified Bicycle Friendly Community in collaboration with Bike Newport, the city’s cycling advocacy group. Recent improvements include bike lanes, shared lanes, improved signage, community classes, two bicycle education centers, bicycle friendly businesses, distribution of night safety equipment, and much more.

Nicole Wynand, the Director of the Bicycle Friendly America program, offered, “We were very impressed with how far Newport has come in such a short period of time. This is a great example how a strong local advocacy group can make a real difference.”

Goal achieved

“We’re very proud of this recognition and the promise that this designation holds,” commented Bill Riccio, Newport’s Director of Public Services. “Bicycling can be a healthy transportation option in a small and historic city like Newport. We’re committed to continuing improvements so more people will choose bicycling.”
 
Bari George, Executive Director of Bike Newport, shared, “This award is a vote of confidence in what we are doing and how we are doing it. We still have a long way to go, but this is a fabulous first step, and a welcome to the bike-friendly movement. We used to say that Newport was a ‘Bike Friendly Community Waiting to Happen’; now we can say we are a ‘Bike Friendly Community Moving Forward’.”
 
The BFC program is transforming the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while benchmarking their progress toward improved bicycle-friendliness. There are now 291 BFCs in 48 states across America.
 

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