League Names Chattanooga A Bicycle Friendly Community

Thursday, December 4, 2003

The League of American Bicyclists has honored Chattanooga with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community designation "because of its longstanding commitment to providing safe accommodation and facilities for bicyclists, and its efforts to encourage bicycle travel for transportation and recreation."

Through policy and design, Chattanooga has focused on increasing opportunities for physical activity and is a model in America's efforts to reduce obesity, officials said.

Chattanooga is one of 13 communities given the Bicycle Friendly Community designation this fall; a total of 27 cities have been honored with the award in 2003.

Chattanooga has been granted the League's Bicycle Friendly Community bronze-level award, the fourth highest prize in the national awards program. A total of 17 American communities have earned the bronze-level designation. Just three cities—Portland and Corvallis, Oregon and Palo Alto, California—have received the second highest gold-level award. The League has not yet bestowed the highest-level platinum award on any community.

Elissa Margolin, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists, congratulated Chattanooga for its achievement. “Chattanooga and our other Bicycle Friendly Communities display uncommon political commitment, technical expertise, and community involvement to become better places to bicycle. The rewards for residents are huge: reduced traffic, better air quality, increased travel choices, and greater opportunities to lead more active lifestyles.”

League staff and reviewers consider several factors before granting Bicycle Friendly Community status, including:

• The physical environment for bicycling – on-street facilities, trails, parking etc.
• Education programs to promote a “share the road” ethic among bicyclists and drivers
• Promotional initiatives to persuade people to ride or ride more often
• Enforcement of traffic laws for both motorists and bicyclists
• Future plans and evaluation techniques to improve conditions further

Among Chattanooga’s numerous policies and programs to make bicycling better for its residents, the League staff and reviewers were most impressed by its master plan for the region and its successful implementation of that plan. Andy Clarke, the Director of State and Local Advocacy for the League, will officially present the award at the Chattanooga City Council meeting on December 9 beginning at 6 p.m.

A related event will take place that day between 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. at the Waterhouse Pavilion in Miller Plaza. Approximately 100 fourth grade elementary students from the Battle Academy for Teaching and Learning and the Normal Park Museum Magnet will present their artwork promoting bicycle safety in the community. Posters will be judged by both students and members of the
Chattanooga Bicycle Task Force. Finalists will be presented at the City Council Meeting that evening.

The League’s Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign is a national grassroots effort to increase the number of trips made by bike, promote physical fitness, and help make communities more livable. The Campaign works in the most effective way possible—town by town, city by city—to encourage bicycling and achieve a bicycle-friendly America.

Visit www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org to view the entire list of award-winning communities and learn more about the program.

The Campaign is supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (www.rwjf.org) and the Bikes Belong Coalition (www.bikesbelong.org).

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America on behalf of its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org and www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org.

2003 Bicycle Friendly Community award winners

Platinum Level
none

Gold
Corvallis, Oregon
Palo Alto, California
Portland, Oregon

Silver
Denver, Colorado
Folsom, California
Fort Collins, Colorado
Missoula, Montana
Santa Barbara, California
Stanford University, California
Tempe, Arizona
Bronze
Arlington, Virginia
Beaverton, Oregon
Bloomington, Indiana
Boca Raton, Florida
Brentwood, California
Brunswick, Maine
Cary, North Carolina
Chattanooga, Tennessee
College Station, Texas
Gilbert, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Miami Beach, Florida
The Presidio of San Francisco, CA
Redmond, Washington
Schaumburg, Illinois
Shawnee, Kansas
Washington, DC



Market Street Bridge To Undergo Quarterly Testing On Sunday

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will conduct quarterly testing and maintenance on the Market Street Bridge in downtown Chattanooga on  Sunday, during which time the bridge will be closed to through traffic.  From  8 a.m.- 2 p.m. , the bridge will be closed to traffic as the testing is performed.     This work is weather dependent.  ... (click for more)

Mainstreet Cleveland Announces Bobby Taylor Award Recipient

Main Street Cleveland held its annual Christmas party on Wednesday evening. A new award that acknowledges an individual’s long-term commitment to downtown Cleveland was presented to Allan Jones in memory of George R. "Bobby" Taylor.   Mr. Taylor was founder and CEO of bank of Cleveland and instrumental in founding the Mainstreet Cleveland organization. He was a strong supporter ... (click for more)

County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding

County school board members are gearing up to set priorities for the next round of new school construction in Hamilton County. Lee McDade, assistant superintendent, said officials may know by the spring how much money will be available to build new schools or add on to existing ones - or do a combination of both. Board member Rhonda Thurman said a proposal to build a new Chattanooga ... (click for more)

New Walker County Commissioner Whitfield To Move Public Meetings To Evenings And To Larger Venue; Will Also Be Listening Sessions

Walker County Sole Commissioner-Elect Shannon Whitfield said there will be a new arrangement for holding of public commissioner sessions when he takes place at the start of January. Current Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has held Thursday meetings at 3:30 p.m. from time to time in a conference room at her office near the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette. Mr. Whitfield said those ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Senseless Divide

If I could change one thing about the schools in Chattanooga, my wish would be that everybody could become good friends. I’m talking about the private schools versus the public schools. The rancor is so bad we hardly ever play in sports anymore and what the loathsome TSSAA has done in recent years to the out-numbered private schools is sinful. My dream would be that there would ... (click for more)