Santa Clarita Named Bicycle Friendly Community

With more than 32 miles of off-street trails, more than 15 miles of on-street bike lanes and 30 miles of paseos located throughout the community, it's no surprise that Santa Clarita was awarded the prestigious bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation by the League of American Bicyclists earlier this month.

Published September 30, 2007 by  The Signal
By Marsha McLean 

With more than 32 miles of off-street trails, more than 15 miles of on-street bike lanes and 30 miles of paseos located throughout the community, it's no surprise that Santa Clarita was awarded the prestigious bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation by the League of American Bicyclists earlier this month.

The national Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award recognized the city of Santa Clarita for its commitment to improving conditions for bicycling and its practice of making focused investment in bicycling programs and facilities.

The award judges were particularly impressed with the city's intersection improvements with the installation of extremely sensitive bicycle-detection technology to ensure cyclists are properly accommodated on city streets.

The city works hard to encourage residents to bike for transportation and recreation and provide safe accommodations and facilities for bicyclists to use.

Since the program's inception in 2003, a total of 174 communities have applied for this prestigious designation, and 70 have earned it. This year, the city of Santa Clarita was one of seven communities honored. Others honored include: Santa Cruz, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Lexington-Fayette County, Ky, Liberty Lake, Wash, New York City, and Spartanburg, S.C.

The Bicycle Friendly Community program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life and transportation network.

The league awards this four-year designation to communities that have made impressive, measurable efforts to integrate bicyclists into the community. There are four levels-platinum, gold, silver and bronze-awarded twice each year.

"The League is delighted to recognize the City of Santa Clarita for its efforts to welcome bicyclists and make bicycling safer and more enjoyable," said Executive Director Andy Clarke. "We applaud your community for its willingness to invest over the long-term in creating a better, more livable environment for their citizens."

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

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates.

When the city of Santa Clarita incorporated 20 years ago, there were no off-street bicycle/pedestrian trails. Today, residents enjoy more than 30 miles of these safe and convenient trails which span the city from Canyon Country to Valencia.

For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org and www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org.

Marsha McLean is mayor of the city of Santa Clarita. Her column represents her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.