Anacortes has been named a "Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community" by the League of American Bicyclists, according to a news release from the city.
"Anacortes is playing a critical part in creating a truly Bicycle Friendly America," said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. "We know the Anacortes community investment in bicycling will be returned many times over in the health, environmental, and quality of life benefits of a thriving community."
The Bronze BFC award recognizes Anacortes's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies. There are now 291 BFC's in 48 states across America.
An example of the commitment Anacortes has towards bicycle friendliness is the 3.5 mile section of the Guemes Channel Trail that would link downtown Anacortes with the Washington State Ferry, providing another non-motorized paved portion of our primary trail through town, which is planned to be part of United States Bicycle Route 10.
Private fundraising through the Parks Foundation Board has already raised $80k. The City has applied for and received TAP funding for the planning and development portion, and $700k (2014) from the WA State legislature for the next section of construction. The trail is not only a spectacularly beautiful waterfront trail, but will be pivotal in providing safe cycling infrastructure linking downtown with the west end of the island. It is a City priority and has overwhelming community support (98% positive comments on the fundraising website, hundreds of pledges of support by local residents and visitors.
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 then 500 distinct communities have applied, and the five levels of the award - diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze - provide a c1ear incentive for communities to continuously improve.