Keeping Up With the Joneses (AA and TC)

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Last Monday, April 27th, Bill Nesper (pictured at right at the GR Bike Summit) and the League of American Bicyclists announced the addition of 13 new Bicycle Friendly Communities (pdf) and three renewals.  They are:

  • Columbia, MO – Silver
  • Alexandria, VA – Bronze
  • Cedar Falls, IA – Bronze
  • Columbus, OH – Bronze
  • Irvine, CA – Bronze
  • Lakewood, CO – Bronze
  • Long Beach, CA – Bronze
  • Naperville, IL – Bronze
  • Philadelphia, PA – Bronze
  • Santa Monica, CA – Bronze
  • Traverse City, MI – Bronze
  • Tulsa, OK – Bronze
  • Vail, CO – Bronze

ann_arbor_sealRenewals:

  • Ann Arbor, MI – ’05 Bronze, ’09 Silver
  • Bend, OR – ‘05 Bronze, ’09 Silver
  • Milwaukee, WI – ’06 Bronze, ’09 Bronze

Congratulations to Traverse City for receiving the Bronze designation!  And even more impressive, to Ann Arbor for upgrading their designation from Bronze to Silver!  Nothing like a little friendly intra-state competition to spur improvements in bicycling in the Greater Grand Rapids area.  This September, Grand Rapids will apply for designation with the hope of achieving at least a Bronze status.  In my mind, it should be our goal to become Michigan’s most bicycle friendly community!

GR Bike Summit Recap in the LAB E-newsletter

A very positive review of the first Grand Rapids Bike Summit was sent out to thousands of League of American Bicyclists members around the country today in the American Bicyclist Update eNewsletter.  Here’s what it said:

Grand Rapids Bike Summit Recap

The inaugural Grand Rapids Bike Summit took place last Friday, April 24th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event hosted by the newly formed Bike Grand Rapids Coalition had the goal of putting together an action plan for making the city into a Bicycle Friendly Community. The turnout of over 200 people was just one demonstration of the enthusiasm for these efforts from the city’s active bicycling community. Bill Nesper, the League’s Director of the Bicycle Friendly America program spoke at the event and expressed how inspiring the event was for him. “The community has a lot of the ingredients of a great cycling city but most importantly they have the thing that someone from out of town can’t teach at a workshop – a grassroots bicycling culture. [At their summit] it was clear that the community has the people at all levels, from city staff to club cyclists, who want to transform their city for cycling. They have come up with a plan of action which was the goal…and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Thanks to Bill Nesper and the League staff for this positive exposure to bicyclists all over the country.  We should be proud of the bicycling culture we have in Grand Rapids and continue to build and push to make our city more bicycle friendly.  The potentional economic and health benefits are huge!