By Charles Pekow — Montrose, Colorado just joined the family of bicycle friendly communities (BFCs). It was the only new BFC in the Mountain West issued in the League of American Bicyclists' latest round of awards. Montrose earned the lowest award level, bronze. Silverthorne, Colorado moved up one notch from bronze to silver, and Springville, Utah earned honorable mention.
Designations last four years. Montrose applied in 2015 and received honorable mention. The Montrose Area Bicycle Alliance spearheaded the effort and promises to keep making improvements to try to earn a higher rank in 2024. The Parks Division includes 30 miles of paved trails. The city added a Connect Trail running through town with only two traffic intersections, bike lanes on streets and 30 miles of mountain bike trails. The city added new bike classes, installed downtown bike racks and sponsors a Bike-to-Work Day.
Silverthorne improved by adding a 3.8-mile Blue River Trail, sponsoring bike events and improving mountain biking trails.
Springville, meanwhile, had hoped to get a higher nod. The Hobble Creek Bicycle Association spearheaded the application. “We are shooting for bronze status with this first application, with the hopes of being able to move up to silver status in four years,” the association stated on its website when it applied with the city in February. “The application was long and detailed and took a significant amount of input from city officials to get it done, but it was very eye-opening to the kinds of things that the city and our associations could be doing to make Springville more bicycle friendly.”
The city is continuing to improve, adding new bike lanes in May, for instance, with more on the way, so higher rankings are sure to come.