Oakland recognized as bike-friendly community

September 16, 2010 1:31:38 PM PDT
As a newly minted "Bicycle Friendly Community," the city of Oakland joined the ranks of 157 other pedal-passionate locales across 43 states as designated by a nationwide bicycling organization, city officials announced Wednesday.

This year, 18 new communities were awarded the title by the League of American Bicyclists, which stated that those cities welcome cyclists by "providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation."

"This national recognition demonstrates the commitment of the community and the responsiveness of government in achieving Oakland's vision of a sustainable city," Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said in a statement.

Oakland applied for the designation earlier this year as a way to obtain feedback on its progress in implementing the city's master bike plan, according to the city's Public Works Agency.

The city won a bronze-level award, agency officials said.

Kassie Rohrbach, executive director of the advocacy group Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, said the designation reflects the city's progress as it continues "to increase the safety and usability of our streets so that more Oaklanders can choose biking for every-day transportation."

Of the 70 largest U.S. cities, Oakland has the seventh-largest percentage of people bicycling to work, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from a 2008 survey.

Oakland now has 97 miles of bikeway, with an additional 30 miles of new or improved bikeway slated for completion by the end of 2011, according to the agency.