According to Bicycle Newswire, Anchorage has just earned a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community award from the League of American Bicyclists. Anchorage is Alaska’s second Bicycle Friendly Community, joining Sitka which earned a bronze level award in May 2008. Congratulations, Anchorage.
The League of American Bicyclists cited Anchorage’s education efforts with local schools as one of the main reasons for the award. Also cited was the completion of Anchorage’s first bicycle plan and the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage hosting the Alaska Bike Summit in April 2009.
In order to earn a Bicycle Friendly Community honor, communities have to prepare a lengthy application that shows the city’s efforts in the Five E’s — Engineering, Education, Education, Enforcement and Evaluation. Communities can earn BFC honors at four levels — Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze — and there is an Honorable Mention award for those communities that aren’t quite there yet. Of the 318 communities to submit an application in recent years, only 124 have earned the BFC honor, which lasts for three years.
The League of American Bicyclists also awards the Bicycle Friendly Business award. Alaska’s only two Bicycle Friendly Business award-winners are the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium at the gold level and Green Star Inc. at the bronze level. The League of American Bicyclists also has a Bicycle Friendly State ranking (click the Alaska map for details), and Alaska ranks 47th out of 50.