By Emily Ranson - May 20, 2016
Today, our board member, Bruce Cohen, had the honor of presenting Columbia with their new Bicycle Friendly Community award at their Bike to Work Day Celebration. The League of American Bicyclists recognized them as a bronze-level Bike Friendly Community. They join the ranks of other Maryland communities that have been recognized: Baltimore, Bethesda, Frederick, Hagerstown, Rockville, and Salisbury.
Good morning, my name is Bruce Cohen. I’m a bike commuter and have lived in here in Columbia for just shy of 28 years, first in Dorsey Search, then Hickory Ridge and now in River Hill. But today, I’m here in my official capacity as a member of the board of directors of Bike Maryland.
In 2015, Columbia was one of the three communities that Bike Maryland selected to receive a Bike Friendly Community audit from the League of American Bicyclists. League staff was impressed not only by the pathway system of the Columbia Association, but by the level of coordination and cooperation between them and Howard County government to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to seamlessly cross between the jurisdictions.
This Bike Friendly Community award reflects the commitment of Howard County officials, employees, advocates, and the Columbia Association to building a Bike Friendly Columbia and a Bike Friendly Howard County.
Congratulations to everyone who put in the hours on the infrastructure, programming, and policy that enabled this award. Congratulations to everyone who put in the hours and rounds of edits to make sure that the application was as successful as it was. We look forward to continuing to work with you on your path for a Bike Friendly Columbia and Howard County.
During this round of applications, Rockville’s bronze-level award was renewed and Catonsville was recognized as an Honorable Mention.
The Bike Friendly Community program is run by the League of American Bicyclists to recognize communities that have achieved a level of bike-ability. These communities are rated based on the “5 E’s” – Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation/Planning.
Engineering – how bikeable is the built environment? Are there bike lanes? Paths? Low-speed roads?
Education – does the community offer education for youth and adults?
Encouragement – what types of fun activities does the community have to encourage more people to try riding?
Enforcement – what types of laws exist and how do the police handle bicycling?
Evaluation/planning – does the community have a bike plan and how do they measure progress?