A cyclist travels down Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston in July 2013. Bob Wojcieszak/Daily Mail file photo
Morgantown remains the only city in West Virginia named as one of the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Communities, receiving a “bronze” award this year.
This is the third year Morgantown has been named to the list. The city received a bronze award in 2012 and in 2013. Other levels were platinum, gold and silver.
According to the League, a Bicycle Friendly Community “is one that welcomes cyclists with trails, bike lanes, share the road campaigns, organized rides, Bike to Work Day events and so much more. A rich matrix of options that recognizes your area’s unique resources, the BFC application evaluates how your community encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation through the five Es: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation.”
No other cities in West Virginia received an award or were on the League’s honorable mention list, meaning either none were selected or no others applied for the program (I’m waiting to hear back from Charleston’s planning department to see if the city applied for 2014).
In neighboring states, Virginia had three silver and five bronze awardees. Pennsylvania had one silver and four bronze recipients.
Ohio had eight cities with bronze awards, Maryland had five and Kentucky had two.
Only four of the 325 named cities had platinum status – Boulder and Fort Collins, Colo.; Davis, Calif.; and Portland, Ore.
As a state, West Virginia has been slowly but surely making itself more bike-friendly.
In May, the League ranked the state 44th of 50 states in terms of bicycle friendliness after it was ranked 50th in 2008 and 2011.
In June, West Virginia joined 23 other states with “three-feet laws,” which require drivers to give cyclists three feet of space when passing. The state is also supposed to be close to signing its first U.S. Bicycle Route in the Northern Panhandle.
To be eligible for a Bicycle Friendly Community award, municipalities must first apply for program. Cities must re-apply every year, and there is no cost.
Cities wanting to apply for the program next year must do so by Feb. 11, 2015.
See this year’s full list here.