COEUR d'ALENE - Coeur d'Alene bicyclists have known this for years: The city is a pretty friendly place to pedal.
Now, the nation knows it, too.
The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Coeur d'Alene as a bicycle friendly community, giving it a 2012 Bronze award and adding it to the list of 242 BFCs across 47 states.
"Coeur d'Alene recognizes that simple steps to make biking safe and comfortable pay huge dividends in civic, community and economic development," said League President Andy Clarke. "Bicycling is more than a practical, cost-effective solution to many municipal challenges - it's a way to make Coeur d'Alene a place where people don't just live and work, but thrive."
The Bicycle Friendly Community Program provides incentives, assistance and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling. A Bicycle Friendly Community welcomes cyclists by providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation, according to the League.
The program also helps communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness.
Coeur d'Alene received its first Bronze BFC designation in 2008. The Bronze level recognizes the city's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. Awards levels are bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond.
"Our Trails Coordinator Monte McCully is already looking at what we might need to do for the next step up and will likely be setting that goal and engaging the Ped/Bike Committee along with other interested parties," Coeur d'Alene Parks Director Doug Eastwood said. "Monte was successful in getting us on the charts with the Bronze award."
Cd'A bike stats:
Arterial streets with dedicated bicyclist lanes: 26-50 percent
Bicycling: 1.15 percent
Walking: 2.88 percent
Transit: 0.46 percent
Elementary schools: 51-75 percent
Middle schools: 26-50 percent