NASHVILLE (May 27, 2011)- The League of American Bicyclists has named Tennessee a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly State in its fourth annual BFS rankings. The award recognizes the state for its collaboration with local agencies and bicycle advocates, efforts to provide safe routes to school for children who bicycle or walk, and commitment to safety and accommodation of all users.
"I want to congratulate TDOT, members of the General Assembly, and the dozens of local stakeholders who have worked together to achieve this designation," Haslam said. "As a bicyclist myself, I realize the importance of safety in offering this healthy option as we encourage Tennesseans to take responsibility for their personal health."
The League of American Bicyclists named Tennessee a stand-out state for its initiative and progress to become more bicycle-friendly. With the dynamic and competitive state rankings, states are often separated by only a few items such as passage of key legislation, updated traffic code, or increased educational programs. In the past year, Tennessee added a 'Share the Road' section to the state's Comprehensive Driver's License Manual and, more recently, passed legislation that broadens the requirement that drivers exercise due care to apply to bicyclists.
"With all the competing transportation needs we have, Tennessee is proud to be making gains in the area of bicycle friendliness," said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. "The network of bike lanes across the state is growing each and every year and we will continue to dedicate funding for important programs such as Safe Routes to School.
The annual BFS rankings and awards are published and used to encourage states to improve their bike-friendliness. The states are evaluated with a comprehensive annual questionnaire that is completed by state Department of Transportation bicycle coordinators. Additionally, the program also measures the combined performance of legislators, law enforcement, and state cycling advocates and promoters. The BFS program has helped inspire pro-bike legislation and policies throughout the country.
"It is when there is combined and consistent work of multiple agencies, legislators and advocates promoting bicycling at the state level that you start to see big gains," said Andy Clarke, League President. "Tennessee has made headway with its bicycle improvements after such collaborative efforts."
To view the 2011 BFS Rankings list, complete BFS awards, and a breakdown of how the states fared in each evaluation category, visit bikeleague.org/states or contact League director of communications Meghan Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202.822.1333.