|Is innovative traffic calming alone enough for a BFC designation?|
By comparison, the City of Philadelphia which has very well design bicycle lanes over most of the city, as much as 200 miles worth by 2007, finally received Bronze BFC Status in 2008 after years of receiving only "Honorable Mentions." Like both Montclair and Princeton, Philadelphia too has a grid street network that can aid those wishing to bike around the City. However it seemed back then that the League of American Bicyclists really wanted to make sure that Philadelphia earned that Bronze BFC Status. Only in 2012 did Philadelphia move up to Silver Status even though Philly has the highest bicycle commuter mode share out of any large American city.
So the question remains. Should the League of American Bicyclists have award these communities BFA status even at the modest Bronze level when on the face of these towns, very little infrastructure has been built to aid and encourage cycling? Would a stranger on a bicycle feel like they are in a community where bicycling is really encouraged? Do Princeton and Montclair match up to BFCs that earned their Bronze status years ago or even ones that have such status out in the West, where usable, well engineered on-street bicycle amenities, like bike lanes, are commonplace? Unfortunately, the answer is a big "NO" to all three of these questions. And unfortunately the awarding of BFC status to these two communities by the League of American Bicyclists does nothing to promote cycling in New Jersey or in the Nation as a whole.
No Bike Infrastructure = No BFC Status. Period! And The League if American Bicyclists should know better.