NEW HAVEN SEEKS RECOGNITION AS A BICYCLE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY
(3/20/2008) NEW HAVEN- The City of New Haven submitted, today, an application for the League of American Bicyclists’ prestigious Bicycle-Friendly Community award. The Bicycle-Friendly Communities program is an awards program that recognizes municipalities that actively support cycling. New Haven’s application was completed by the City’s Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking in partnership with ElmCityCycling.
“Promoting cycling as a means of transportation is crucial to building a sustainable, healthy and livable city,” said Hunter Smith of ElmCityCycling.
The application requires a comprehensive review of a city’s engineering, enforcement, education and encouragement efforts to promote safe cycling opportunities for transportation and recreation. A committee of expert evaluators from the League of American Bicyclists will review and score New Haven’s application as well as consult with local cyclists. If New Haven is successful, an award of platinum, gold, silver or bronze status will be designated for four years. Recipients of this award will be announced in late spring or early summer.
The City of New Haven and Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. are strongly committed to encouraging cycling among residents and commuters. “As gas prices rise and concerns about global warming mount, New Haven is proud to be a state-wide leader in working to promote cycling and other forms of non-motorized transportation,” said DeStefano.
New Haven already has the second-highest percentage of bicycle commuters of any major city in the Northeast, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. “Increased cycling will also help alleviate parking challenges downtown and at the local train stations,” said Michael Piscitelli, Director of Transportation, Traffic and Parking for the City of New Haven.
Many municipalities throughout the country participate in the program including: New York City (bronze), Washington, D.C. (bronze), Burlington, Vt. (bronze), Chicago (silver), San Francisco (gold) and Portland, Ore. (gold). Currently, the only city with platinum status is Davis, Calif. New Haven, if successful, would be the first municipality in Connecticut to receive such an award.
A copy of the City’s application is available on ElmCityCycling’s website at www.elmcitycycling.org.
The League of American Bicyclists, founded in 1880 as the League of American Wheelmen, is a national organization dedicated to promoting cycling throughout the United States.
ElmCityCycling is a group of more than 400 bicycle advocates in the Greater New Haven area committed to making the region and the city more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly. Its meetings on the second Monday of every month at 6:00pm in City Hall are open to all.
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