Tacoma maintains ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’ status

For the second time in three years, Tacoma has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a certified-bronze Bicycle Friendly Community. The certification program aims to recognize investments in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies.

The City received bronze-level recognition in 2012 for installing on-street bike racks, partnering with Downtown On the Go! to create Tacoma’s first public bike cage (see “Tacoma bike cage open at Park Plaza North,” Tacoma Daily Index, August 10, 2011), creating a Safe Routes to School grant for Sheridan Elementary School (see “‘Safe Route’ will guide Tacoma’s Sheridan Elementary students,” Tacoma Daily Index, April 18, 2013; “City seeks contractor for Sheridan Elementary Safe Routes project,” Tacoma Daily Index, Nov. 18, 2014; and “Tacoma Bid Watch: Chinese Reconciliation Park, Sheridan Elementary Safe Route, and sidewalk improvements,” Tacoma Daily Index, Dec. 16, 2014), and developing the Stadium High School bike club (see “Tacoma named ‘Bicycle Friendly Community,’” Tacoma Daily Index, May 15, 2012).

According to Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax’s June 18 weekly report to Tacoma City Council, the City re-applied for the program this spring to see if recent bicycle infrastructure improvements—such as the completion of 13 miles of roadway improvements for cyclists and pedestrians (see “Tacoma completes 13.1-mile roadway improvement project for cyclists, pedestrians,” Tacoma Daily Index, Aug. 27, 2014), restoration of the historic Water Flume Line Trail (see “Water Flume Line: Bicyclists, pedestrians celebrate historic trail restoration,” Tacoma Daily Index, April 30, 2015), an advertising campaign to raise awareness of cyclists and pedestrians on local roadways (see “Campaign aims to increase safety for Tacoma cyclists, pedestrians,” Tacoma Daily Index, Feb. 26, 2015), and other efforts—might improve its status to a certified silver level of recognition.

Although the City did not receive the certification increase, the League of American Bicyclists created a report card outlining improvements Tacoma would need to make in order to achieve that goal. Some of the improvements include finding dedicated and on-going funding for bikeways, developing and funding Safe Routes to School programs, collaborating with law enforcement on issues that affect cyclists, building out a greater percentage of the proposed bikeways network, and creating bicycle skills training opportunities.

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