For some perspective, every state in the Deep South and even Texas has at least one Bicycle Friendly Community, with Virginia, Florida, North and South Carolina represented by three communities or more. Even Mississippi has one (Oxford)!
Somewhat oddly, New Jersey is far from alone in the Northeast. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland are all states without a BFC. The other four states are West Virginia, North Dakota, Nevada and Hawaii. However having just spent time up in Connecticut with other bike/ped advocates, I can tell you that they are likely to nominate at least one community next year.
If New Jersey has any hopes of maintaining it's Top 10 statewide ranking as a Bicycle Friendly State next year, it is clear that our state will need to pick up at least one, if not two or three Bicycle Friendly Communities by this time next year. Other states are starting to take the lead and we in New Jersey better start making progress on this very soon (applications are due Feb 19m 2010).
Possible candidates for easy nomination for BFC status are:
(Ranked by observed bicycle amenities that I've either read about or seen in person)
- Ocean City (Cape May)
- Hoboken (Hudson)
- Madison (Morris)
- Montclair (Essex)
- Princeton (Mercer)
- Avalon (Cape May)
- Collingswood (Camden)
- Morristown (Morris)
- Haddonfield (Camden)
- West Windsor (Mercer)
- Franklin (Somerset)
- Newark (Essex)
The wild-card in the bunch is clearly Newark, however the Brick City Bicycle Collective has been making great advocacy inroads in the city and region in the short six months they've been around. They had Mayor Cory Booker ride with them on their inaugural ride back in August and even have some elected members of the city government now wanting to make Newark the most bicycle friendly city in all of New Jersey!
What are your thoughts? Do you have any suggestions for other possible BFC candidates in New Jersey?