Bike-to-Work Day 2019: Jefferson City named Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community, Kirkwood HM, 1.5 million Missourians now live in a Bicycle Friendly Community

Today is Missouri Bike-to-Work Day--one of the high points of National Bike Month and Bike Week--and this year we really have something to celebrate: After years of work, Jefferson City has been awarded a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community award, and Kirkwood has received Honorable Mention in the Bicycle Friendly Community awards.

Jefferson City cyclist can ride across the Missouri River to enjoy the city park
Jefferson City cyclist can ride across the Missouri River to enjoy the city park and recreation areas on the north side

Jefferson City and Kirkwood join 10 other Missouri communities with Bicycle Friendly Community recognition--and with a total population of 1,453,449 living in those communities.

So nearly 1.5 million Missourians live in an officially recognized Bicycle Friendly Community.  That's worth celebrating!

The two Missouri cities joined 37 other communities nationwide who were recognized this month by the League of American Bicyclists for their work in becoming more bicycle friendly. There are now 464 Bicycle Friendly Communities nationwide and nearly 100 Honorable Mentions.

Jefferson City worked hard to achieve Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly recognition

Officials, staff, and residents in Jefferson City were pretty excited to receive their Bronze-level award. According to the New Tribune:

To receive a four-year BFC designation, Jefferson City had to earn points for things the city has done to promote cycling, including adding bicycle racks and creating bicycle lanes. Those points translate to bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond ranks.

Over the last five years, the city has made several strides toward becoming more bicycle-friendly. It added bicycle racks and lanes throughout the city, brought in the bike-share program, resurrected its bicycle subcommittee, created more cycling classes and started a local cyclist-friendly businesses recognition, among other items.

"It feels phenomenal," said Ashley Varner, healthy communities coordinator for Capital Region Medical Center. "All of those pieces of the puzzle awarded us points as a community to go towards this."

Alex Rotenberry of Jefferson City Planning wrote:

Members from Jefferson City Public Works, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Capital Region Medical Center's Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities, and Jefferson City Police Department submitted the application for the award. The application, along with public surveys of local cyclists and bike advocates, was considered by the League of American Bicyclists when awarding the bronze level designation.

Going beyond the basics

Jefferson City really has done a great job the past several years in building a more bicycle friendly city.  For many years the city has been creating a trail system, but in the past several years city leaders have made some important additions to that:

  • A comprehensive regional bicycle plan
     
  • Access across the Missouri River Bridge to the Katy Trail and seamless bicycle connectivity from the downtown/Capitol area and the Greenway Trail  along Wears Creek across the river to the Katy
     
  • A growing network of bike lanes and bicycle friendly streets
     
  • A well used bike share system (as well as a scooter-share system)
     
  • Educational and outreach programs, like Bike Month activities
     
  • The City itself is a Bicycle Friendly Business
     
  • More plans are underway, like creating regional routes to connect to the Rock Island Trail, and creating a trail connection to Adrian's Island
     
  • The City has hosted the Missouri Active Transportation Summit for the past two years.

Congratulations to Jefferson City, Kirkwood, and all the rest of Missouri's Bicycle Friendly Communities, Businesses, and Universities.

If you would like to get your community, business, or university on the Bicycle Friendly track, check out our Bicycle Friendly Missouri page for information and resources to get started.

 

Building and supporting a more bicycle friendly Missouri, and supporting our Bicycle Friendly Communities, Businesses, and Universities helps accomplish several of the primary goals in our Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri.

Your ongoing membership and generous financial support helps turn our Vision into reality!

Have you considered turning your level of support up a notch by becoming a Sustaining Member--starting at just $5/month . . .

 

Image credit: Missouri News Horizon on FlickR License: CC BY 2.0

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