Little Rock Retains Bike Friendly Community Bronze

In June 2020, the League of American Bicyclists honored the efforts of the City of Little Rock to build better places for people to bike with a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. The City of Little Rock joins 482 communities across the country in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. The award recognizes the City of Little Rock for its commitment to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit its residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices. 

“Across the country, we have seen so many Americans biking during the pandemic. It’s critical that there are communities like Little Rock taking the steps to make biking a safe, accessible option for people, whether they are commuting to essential jobs or looking for recreational options outside their homes,”

“This award is the culmination of years of work put in by the City of Little Rock and its citizen advocates for better biking. This award round, Little Rock joins 38 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities in the movement toward healthier, more sustainable and connected places. Our nation and the world is facing an acute public health crisis with long-term implications, and we’re proud that Little Rock and communities like it are embracing bicycling as a solution to our collective recovery.”

- Bill Nesper, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists.

The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program sets the standard for how communities build and benchmark progress toward making biking better. This round of awards, which communities applied for in February 2020, includes 38 new and renewing awardees, joining a total 482 Bicycle Friendly Communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Bronze BFC award recognizes the City of Little Rock’s commitment to improving conditions for all people who bike through investments in bike education programs, regular bike events that promote and encourage people to choose biking, pro-bike policies, and bike infrastructure.

“It was great news to hear that Little Rock again received the Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community status. There are so many options along the river for families and visitors that wish to hop on a bike for recreation. Once we fully embrace cycling as a transportation option by providing more safe cycling routes to commuters, we will certainly become a Silver-level community. I for one am excited about that possibility!”

- Dave Roberts, Arkansas Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling

More than 850 communities have applied for recognition by the Bicycle Friendly Community program, which provides a roadmap to making biking better for communities of all shapes and sizes. While the award process considers very visible elements such as bike infrastructure, other essential elements include efforts around adult and youth bike education, encouragement through events like Bike to Work Day, evaluation mechanisms, and enforcement all through the lens of equity. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself, and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists and active transportation advocates to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.  

“We have always valued bicycling as an important recreational activity, as a means for health and exercise, and as a tourism opportunity for our region. However, it feels like the stakes are even higher now that we are seeing how important it is to have adequate infrastructure to accommodate cycling not only for recreation and health, but also for essential transportation and community-building. Bicycles are one important way that we can help to reduce transportation inequity in our community, as not all citizens are willing or able to use private vehicles."

"Bicycling through town is also a great way to experience the local community in person, rather than whizzing by it at 60 miles per hour behind a windshield. Continuing to emphasize safe routes and connections for bicycles to get throughout the city is one of the primary goals of the BFCC.”

- Katie Helms, City of Little Rock Bike Friendly Community Committee Chair

The five levels of the BFC award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices.  

About the League of American Bicyclists

The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting bicyclists’ rights. Learn more at www.bikeleague.org.