The BikeColumbia Task Force was created through a City of
Columbia Resolution in May 2006. This Resolution reflected the desire of the Mayor, City Council and City Management to ensure
Columbia became a Bicycle Friendly Community.
In August 2008, BikeColumbia submitted their application and on September 24, 2008, received official notice that
Columbia had been designated a BRONZE Level Bicycle Friendly Community.
Receiving a designation as a "Bicycle Friendly Community" is a designation with real meaning—it is difficult to earn and important to renew.
Since the program’s inception by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in 2003, 245 communities have applied.
The August 2008 round of applications was the League of American Bicyclists’ largest application cycle to date—51 communities applied for the designation. Of that 51, there was one (1) gold, one (1) silver and eight (8) bronze community awards, and 19 existing communities renewed their designations.
Today, there are only 96 awarded communities in 32 states.
and 64 Bronze
Columbia now joins
CA - Denver, Co -
Salt Lake City,
FL, and 59 other cities with the rank of Bronze.
The LAB awards this four-year designation to communities that have made impressive, measurable efforts to integrate bicyclists into the community.
Columbia is working to fulfill the bicycling needs for a variety of different types of cyclists – distance cyclists, commuter cyclists and recreational cyclists.
Even with this variety of cyclists, there is one common need that towers above all other needs. That need transcends the boundaries of all bicycling cultures and all modes of transportation - the need for a safe traveling environment.
The quantity and quality of
Columbia’s total bicycling environment was measured by the League using what they call the 5 E’s.
1. Education and Safety – are we working with local schools, bike shops, cycling clubs and the general population to provide access to safety material, tips for commuting by bicycle, information on bicycle recreational opportunities, are we providing public safety ads in local papers, giving radio and television interviews, and are we providing training opportunities for local transportation planners and engineers on the importance of designing complete streets – which are streets that accommodate all modes of transportation
2. Encouragement – are we hosting or participating in area events sharing the how, why, when and where cyclists can ride and ride safely, are we providing opportunities to ride, or helping promote rides conducted by local bike shops or cycling clubs and are we providing creative bicycling services
3. Enforcement – are we providing tools and training for law enforcement officers on
South Carolina bicycling laws and their proper enforcement
4. Engineering – do we have existing bike lanes, signed designated bike routes and paved and natural bike trails, are we working with local transportation engineers to evaluating infrastructure, like our streets, signal lights, intersections and street signs to ensure they provide safe conditions and direction for bicyclists and are we working to ensure we have bike racks or other bicycle facilities available in public spaces
5. Evaluation & Planning – are we establishing data tracking mechanisms that quantify the effectiveness of our program initiatives
Columbia the Bronze Level Designation Award, the LAB signifies their agreement with BikeColumbia that yes, we are implementing initiatives in
Columbia that integrate bicycling into the community.
A Bronze award is very nice, but there is still so much to do.
BikeColumbia is working to implement many initiatives to keep moving
Columbia forward to the next level of award designation.
We are making preparations to offer a Traffis Skills 101 Course, Commuter Course and a League Certified Instructor Course in 2009.
BikeColumbia is in the final stages of designing a much needed commuter and visitor bike map that indicates low-traffic or wide lane streets as preferred routes to use while bicycling.
BikeColumbia is excited and proud we are able to demonstrate and be measured against many other cities across the
United States and show that
South Carolina, is quite deserving of this Bronze Designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community.