If you have been following this blog, you know that I have been involved in local bicycle advocacy issues here in Greenville, SC for a while. I was previously the advocacy chairperson for the Greenville Spinners bicycle club and during much of that period I had another blog, Bike Greenville, which covered local cycling issues. More recently, I have served as a member of Bikeville, a group of City employees and concerned citizens who were working toward League of American Bicyclists “Bicycle Friendly Community” designation for Greenville.
I am proud to say that Greenville is now one of the new Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community Winners. Bronze is a great first step, but we are not going to stop there as we continue to make this area a better place to live and ride. If you are interested, read more about the new designation in the City’s official press release below:
GREENVILLE NAMED BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY
Prestigious award honors City’s efforts to promote bicycling
GREENVILLE (SC) The League of American Bicyclists has honored Greenville with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community award. Greenville joins Columbia and Spartanburg as South Carolina’s only Bicycle Friendly Communities. The League of American Bicyclists’ mission is to promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. Greenville was granted the bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation for four years and the League of American Bicyclists will provide the City with feedback on what it can do to make Greenville even more bicycle-friendly. Announcement of the Bicycle Friendly Community designation comes at an ideal time as the City plans to begin a comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan study in January 2010.
The City began its Bicycle Friendly Community initiative, named Bikeville in 2006 with a City Council resolution endorsing the League of American Bicyclists Action Plan for Bicycle Friendly Communities. Bikeville is a committee of volunteers comprised of City staff, engineers, planners, retailers and advocates who collaborate on efforts to encourage and educate bicyclists, and the plan established specific goals that ranged from installing bicycle racks on all Greenlink buses to celebrating National Bike Month every May.
Over the past five years, the City has installed eight miles of bicycle lanes and there are currently 10 miles of paved bicycle trails throughout the city. The City plans to install an additional five miles of bicycle lanes on the following streets within the next year: Spring Street, Falls Street and portions of Broad Street; Washington Street, from the Amtrak Station to the McBee Avenue intersection; Church Street, from Augusta Road to University Ridge and Fairforest Way, from Laurens Road to Mauldin Road. The City also has a Bicycle Parking Ordinance that requires most new developments which provide vehicular parking to also provide bicycle parking and in 2008, City Council passed a Complete Streets resolution which ensures that all roadway users are accommodated in new road construction projects.
The City submitted its Bicycle Friendly Community application in August 2009. The application was carefully reviewed and scored by a committee, which also consulted with local cyclists in the Greenville community. Communities are judged in five categories, which the League of American Bicyclists refers to as the Five Es: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate achievements in each of the five categories in order to be considered for an award.
According to Bill Nesper, director of the Bicycle Friendly Community Program for the League of American Bicyclists, the award is presented only to communities with remarkable commitments to bicycling and is a national recognition of the City’s “tremendous efforts to create a truly Bicycle Friendly Community.”