Boulder Wins Platinum in Biking

“Boulder Goes Bike Platinum” by Streetfilms

The League of American Cyclists has bestowed one of its highest honors on Boulder, CO: a Platinum ranking for bike friendly communities. Now along with Portland, OR and Davis, CA, Boulder is a shining example of how sustainable transport solutions invigorate communities, enliven cities, and create a better standards of living for residents.

Boulder features many things which helped push it from gold to platinum status such as:

  • 381 miles of bikeways including bike lanes, routes, contra-flow lanes, and multi-use trails
  • Greenways for bikes and pedestrians with 74 underpasses to separate cars from other commuters
  • Freiker, or frequent biker programs, designed to promote school children and parent commuting by bike
  • Priority measure for bikes: such as bike lanes are plowed first during snowy season

While many are excited for the League of American Cyclists’ praise for many U.S. cities, Gil Peñalosa, former Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogotá, Columbia, and current Executive Director of Walk and Bike for Life, argues that American cities are still lagging behind in the radical advancements needed in order to build healthier cities and cleaner urban environments. At his speech for the 2008 conference Towards Carfree Cities, Peñalosa mentioned that US cities still need to define ” how we want to live”. In contrast to cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Vancouver, Barcelona, and Melbourne where over 50% of commuters travel by walking, biking, or public transport , American cities are still car- dominated as over 70% commuters are confined to private vehicles according to the Census Bureau. Peñalosa argued in his speech to Portland, another platinum bike city, that while baby steps are a positive development,

“but it’s tough to go from good to great, which is what needs to happen now in order to slow global warming, reverse obesity trends, and prevent soul-sapping gridlock in our cities.”

Click here for the full speech by Gil Peñalosa

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