Memphis Named a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

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Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Memphis with a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFCSM) award, joining 350 visionary communities from across the country.

With the announcement of 42 new and renewing BFCs today, Memphis joins a leading group of communities, in all 50 states, that are transforming neighborhoods.

“We applaud this new round of communities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their residents and beyond,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “The growing number of leaders taking up bicycling as a way of solving many complex community problems is encouraging. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a bicycle-friendly America for everyone.”

The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this impressive round, there are now 350 BFCs in all 50 states. The Bronze-Level BFC award recognizes Memphis’ commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

“We’re honored to be recognized for the rapid progress we’ve made in making Memphis more bicycle friendly. More bicycling is an indicator of vibrancy and activity in cities like Memphis,” said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. “As a mode of transportation, bicycling is a tool for economic empowerment and social equity. As a method of recreation, bicycling promotes public health and encourages tourism. For these reasons, and many more, bicycling will continue to play a prominent role in Memphis’ transportation system for years to come.”

The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.

“We’ve constructed more than 100 miles of new dedicated bicycle lanes and trails in a very short period of time,” said Kyle Wagenschutz, Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Manager for the City of Memphis. “This infrastructure, combined with the community-based programs that help provide bicycles and the knowledge to operate them safely has resulted in a quadrupling of bicycles on our streets and fewer bicycle-involved crashes.”

“This award is really a benchmark of Memphis’ work to create communities that are accessible by all forms of transportation,” said Livable Memphis Program Director John Paul Shaffer. “It’s an inspiration for our continued work with the city and our community partners to make sure our streets provide safe connections to jobs, recreation, and other opportunities for everyone, regardless of how they get there.”

To apply or learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.

Bike Month Ends…Explore Bike Share Begins!

explorebikeshareFollowing the success of more than 70 local bike-themed events during May for National Bike Month, we’re proud to announce the launch of EXPLORE BIKE SHARE, a strategic effort to discover the assets and challenges of launching a public bike share system in Memphis.

Bike share is a remarkable innovation of urban mobility and transit, providing citizens and tourists alike with a fun, healthful, affordable, and dynamic transportation option. A typical citywide bike share system consists of on-demand bicycles available for rental from a network of stations. Users can pay per ride or may hold “all-you-can-ride” memberships of varying lengths. These can be purchased online, on-site via credit card or at partner locations that process cash payments. The bicycles themselves are designed to be safe for riders of various abilities, adaptable to a range of street conditions, and easy to service.

Strategically integrating bike share into our larger transit system and regional “green print” of bike lanes and trails ensures that it will be an efficient, safe, and useful option for residents and visitors alike, producing wide-reaching benefits to our economy, public health, environment, and culture. Representatives from Memphis’ livability, bicycle/pedestrian, community and economic development, and tourism sectors have formed a committee chaired by Doug Carpenter (Doug Carpenter & Associates) to lead this public discussion about exactly what bike share would look like in Memphis, and determine within 2015:

  • How bike share’s numerous benefits can impact as many Memphians in as many neighborhoods as equitably as possible
  • How Memphians would utilize bike share
  • In which areas of Memphis bike share stations will do the most good and produce the most sustainable return on investment
  • The cost of installing and maintaining a system
  • Possible revenue sources for both installation and ongoing maintenance, including sponsorships, memberships, and private grants
Check out this video of bike share in Philadelphia:
How To Get Invovled:
  1. A series of public community input sessions are being held that will provide opportunities to share ideas and suggestions about bike share.
  2. In addition to participating in any of the planned input sessions, you can also take a short online survey and share your thoughts: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GDPSMDF
  3. Join the conversation on Facebook.
  4. Check out the article from today’s Commercial Appeal.
  5. For additional information, contact Doug Carpenter or Cara Greenstein at (901) 372-5100 or info@explorebikeshare.com.