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City Honored with Bicycle Friendly Community Award

Santa Clarita Recognized for Strong Commitment to Bicycling

Post Date:11/18/2015
The City of Santa Clarita has been recognized as a bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists, joining 371 visionary communities from across the country. The City earned a bronze-level national Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award for its outstanding commitment to improving conditions for bicycling and focused investments in bicycling programs and facilities. 

When the City of Santa Clarita was incorporated in 1987, there were no off-street bicycle/pedestrian trails. Today, residents can enjoy more than 38 miles of off-street paved paths, 24 miles of on street bike lanes and over 43 miles of natural surface paths; connecting residents throughout the City in a safe and convenient way. Progress has also been made to improve traffic and bicycle/pedestrian safety. 

By receiving this award, Santa Clarita joins a leading group of communities that are transforming neighborhoods and building healthy, connected communities. 

“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Vice President of Programs at the League of American Bicyclists. 

The award judges were impressed with the City’s public education outreach efforts, such as the City’s website BikeSantaClarita.com, Safe Routes to School program and public safety campaigns “Respect is a Two-Way Street” and “Be Aware, Stay Alive,” which are aimed at keeping bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists safe on the road. Judges were also pleased by the City’s Bike Month and Bike to Work Events. 

“Many communities apply for this award and not all of them get honored,” said Mayor Marsha McLean. “This year we’re one of the cities being recognized, and that’s a great reflection of the wonderful improvements we’ve accomplished in our community to make it more bicycle friendly,” she added. 

The City has worked hard to expand its multi-purpose trail network, complete new trailheads, install in-pavement bicycle detection and video detection to ensure bicycles are differentiated from vehicles at signalized intersections, and has hosted bicycle-friendly events such as the Amgen Tour of California. 

The City’s General Plan also includes a Circulation Element that requires accommodation of bicyclists in all new road construction, reconstruction and resurfacing projects. As of today, approximately 2,000 bicycle parking spaces are available in the community. The City hopes with these accommodations, residents will be more encouraged to forgo their cars and ride a bike instead to their local destinations. 

The Bicycle Friendly Community program is generously supported with grants from Trek Bicycle Corporation and Bikes Belong. Applicants complete a detailed online form with questions relating to five key areas: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation/planning. Local cyclists, national experts and league staff review the applications. 

The league awards this four-year designation to communities that have made measurable efforts to integrate bicycling into the community. There are four levels – platinum, gold, silver and bronze- awarded twice a year. 
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness, transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. 

For more information about the Bicycle Friendly Community award, please contact Santa Clarita Associate Engineer Joel Bareng at (661) 286-4179 or jbareng@santa-clarita.com.  
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