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Two Alberta communities make top 10 Bicycle Friendly Communities list

TORONTO – Two Alberta communities made the list of top 10 Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC).

Canmore received a silver award and Calgary received a bronze award.

Across Canada, the other silver awards went to Ontario communities Collingwood, Cornwall, Markham, Oakville, and Thunder Bay.

Bronze awards also went to Kelowna, B.C., Petawawa, Ont., and Saskatoon, Sask.

Three honourable mentions went to Bracebridge, Ont., Port Alberni, B.C., and Stratford, Ont.

“Our recipient communities range in size from under 15,000 people to over 1 million, and have varying climate conditions and geography,” said Dr. Subha Ramanathan, Bicycle Friendly Communities Manager at STR. “This demonstrates that any community can be bicycle friendly.”

No two communities look the same but they have a shared commitment to provide residents and visitors with options and opportunities to cycle.

Interest in cycling has grown in Canada and around the world, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail stores are experiencing high demand for bikes, and many communities are working quickly to add temporary cycling infrastructure to accommodate the increasing number of people out on bikes.

Share the Road Cycling Coalition (STR) the Canadian Automobile Association compiled the list and announced the top 10 communities in Canada awarded a new or higher BFC designation. Three other communities received an honourable mention.

The BFC award-winners and honourable mention recipients’ investments in Bicycle Master Plans, infrastructure to address gaps in cycling networks, and educational and outreach programming for residents have helped improve safety and keep cycling rates.

The BFC award program helps communities track their progress, learn from one another, and receive public acknowledgement for their efforts.

STR now has 49 designated Bicycle Friendly Communities, and 14 communities acknowledged with an honourable mention.

“Communities increasingly understand the many benefits of cycling and are investing resources to reap those benefits locally,” said Ian Jack, vice president of public affairs at CAA National. 

The Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) program, an initiative of the League of American Bicyclists, was launched in Canada by Share the Road Cycling Coalition in 2010. The program provides guidance, inspiration and award-recognition for communities that actively support bicycling.

Municipalities are judged in four categories referred to as the four “Es”: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate achievements in all four categories to be considered for an award. The award categories are: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.

Share the Road is an Ontario-based not-for-profit organization working to make communities across Canada bicycle friendly for people of all ages and abilities. They work in partnership with municipal, provincial and federal governments, the business community, road safety organizations, and other not-for-profits to enhance access for bicyclists on roads and trails.