The City of Stevens Point has been designated a “Silver-Level” Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Stevens Point has been a Bicycle Friendly Community since 2016, and is the only Silver-Level community in Central Wisconsin.
The Silver-Level status is an update from the City’s former Bronze-Level designation. This designation honors the efforts of the City of Stevens Point has taken to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit its residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices.
“We always do our best to make sure everyone in our community feels safe and welcome,” stated Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza. “This designation asserts that we are achieving our goal. I am proud of everything we have accomplished as a community and even more proud that our work is getting noticed by groups like the League of American Bicyclists. We still have a lot of work to do, but a recognition like this is surely a nice feather in our community’s cap.”
“It’s very exciting to be part of a community committed to action in achieving transportation equity on our streets - something many cities around the country strive for,” said Trevor Roark, chair of the City’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Street Safety Commission. “This award re-energizes our community’s commitments to realizing a more bikeable, walkable, and livable city. We can credit much of the increase in award level from the implementation of the City’s most recent Transportation Alternative Program grant, which added 13 miles of bicycle infrastructure to the City.”
“If we look at our peer communities that have been the most successful in attracting and retaining young professionals and growing their economies, those like La Crosse, Eau Claire, Appleton, these are all Bicycle Friendly Silver-Level communities,” said Community Development Director Ryan Kernosky. “A walkable and bikeable Stevens Point is what the next generation of workforce is looking for. This award is one small step to a more resilient community at all levels. Finally, major kudos to Associate Planner Adam Kuhn, Director of Public Works Scott Beduhn, and other City staff who worked tirelessly through this thorough application.”
More than 850 communities have applied for recognition by the Bicycle Friendly Community program. Only 494 of those applications were recognized for Bicycle Friendly Community status. 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.
The five levels of the BFC award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, and 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.
To learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.