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The Woodlands Texas
Bicycle Friendly Community

2011 Bronze Award Winner

The Woodlands Texas has been named a Bicycle Friendly Community and is 1 of 11 communities awarded the BFC designation for the first time in 2011 by The League of American Bicyclists as a community with remarkable commitments to bicycling.
Encouraging bicycling is a simple way towards improving public health. With more people bicycling, communities experience reduced traffic demands, improved air quality and greater physical fitness. In addition, Bicycle Friendly Communities are places with a high quality of life, where people want to live, work, and visit. Building such a community can translate into a more connected, physically active, and environmentally sustainable community that enjoys increased property values, business growth, increased tourism, and more transportation choices for citizens. Renewals are due every four years after a community is designated or receives their renewal notice. The League also requires a short annual update. Award levels may change based on the renewal feedback.  The Woodlands award status will be up for renewal in late 2015.

"We are proud and honored to receive this important award; This award is a result of systematic planning and the development of programs that recognizes the importance of the bicycle to The Woodlands quality of life." Township Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Nunes.

Bicycle The Woodlands

Expectations and Requirements

ENGINEERING

Communities are asked about what is on the ground; what has been implemented that promotes cycling in the community. For example, questions in this category inquire about the existence and content of a bicycle master plan, the accommodation of cyclists on public roads, and the existence of both well-designed bike lanes and multi-use paths in the community. Reviewers also look at the availability of secure bike parking and the condition and connectivity of both the off-road and on-road network. The Woodlands has miles of wide pathways for bicycles, joggers, walkers etc.

EDUCATION

The questions in this category are designed to determine the amount of education there is available for both cyclists and motorists. Education includes teaching cyclists of all ages how to ride safely in any area for multi-use paths to congested city streets as well as teaching motorists how to share the road safely with cyclists. Some things that reviewers look at are the availability of cycling education for adults and children, the number of League Cycling Instructors in the community, and other ways that safety information is distributed to both cyclists and motorists in the community including bike maps, tip sheets, and as a part of driver's education manuals and courses. There are rules for bicycle safety in The Woodlands.

ENCOURAGEMENT

This category concentrates on how the community promotes and encourages bicycling. This can be done through Bike Month and Bike to Work Week events as well as producing community bike maps, route finding signage, community bike rides, commuter incentive programs, and having a Safe Routes to School program. In addition, some questions focus on other things that have been built to promote cycling or a cycling culture such as off-road facilities, BMX parks, velodromes, and the existence of both road and on road bicycle clubs.

ENFORCEMENT

The enforcement category contains questions that measure the connections between the cycling and law enforcement communities. Questions address whether or not the law enforcement community has a liaison with the cycling community, if there are bicycle divisions of the law enforcement or public safety communities, if the community uses targeted enforcement to encourage cyclists and motorists to share the road safely, and the existence of bicycling related laws such as those requiring helmet or the use of sidepaths.

EVALUATION & PLANNING

Here the community is judged on the systems that they have in place to evaluate current programs and plan for the future. Questions are focused on measuring the amount of cycling taking place in the community, the crash and fatality rates, and ways that the community works to improve these numbers. Communities are asked about whether or not they have a bike plan, how much of it has been implemented and what the next steps for improvement are.

Application for the BCF Award

Applicant communities are judged in five categories often referred to as the Five Es. These are Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate achievements in one or more of the five categories in order to be considered for an award. Communities with more significant achievements in these areas receive superior awards.

ENGINEERING

Communities are asked about what is on the ground; what has been built to promote cycling in the community. For example, questions in this category inquire about the existence and content of a bicycle master plan, the accommodation of cyclists on public roads, and the existence of both well-designed bike lanes and multi-use paths in the community. Reviewers also look at the availability of secure bike parking and the condition and connectivity of both the off-road and on-road network.
The BFC award recognizes a community's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. To date, the League of American Bicyclists has received 490 applications and designated 190 Bicycle Friendly Communities in 46 states. The application process was aided in part by The Woodlands Cycling Club.

bike pathway construction the woodlands

For more information about the approximately 200 miles of public pathways in The Woodlands, please visit the TWE! Pathways page. The Woodlands also features several 'wheel friendly' parks among the villages.

Press Release - The League of American Bicyclists

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