The City of Urbana is proud to announce that we were named the first Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community in Illinois by the League of American Bicyclists in November of 2014. With the announcement, Urbana is one of only 25 communities in America in achieving Gold-level status or higher!
“Visionary community leaders are recognizing the real-time and long term impact that a culture of bicycling can create,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud this new round of communities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their residents and beyond.”
Achieving a Bicycle Friendly Community designation higher than Bronze was a 2014 goal of the Urbana City Council and Mayor. We have now accomplished that goal (and for good measure, skipped right past Silver and into Gold!). The City of Urbana recognizes that Bicycle Friendly Communities are places with a high quality of life, where people want to live, work, and visit. Working to make Urbana more bike-friendly means we're making it a more connected, physically active, and environmentally sustainable community that enjoys increased property values, business growth, tourism, and more transportation choices for citizens.
The application process to update our Bicycle Friendly Community status was rigorous. The City was greatly assisted in putting together the 2014 application by the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission (RPC). Many thanks go to the RPC and countless other people who helped Urbana achieve Gold status. The application itself provides a comprehensive, bicycle-focused picture of our community by evaluating five categories often referred to as "the Five E's" - Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. To achieve Gold status, Urbana had to demonstrate significant accomplishments related to all five E's.
Plans for a ceremony commemorating Urbana's status as the first Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community in Illinois are currently in the works. In the meantime, you can see photos from the original 2010 ceremony designating the City of Urbana as a Bicycle Friendly Community here.