For those of you who are keeping count, New Jersey is now only one of only FIVE states that DOES NOT have at least one Bicycle Friendly Community with in its boarders. Last year when I looked into this New Jersey was one of only ten states without a BCF. While we do not have a BCF, every state in the south has at least one, with both Mississippi and West Virginia having two Bronze Level Communities each.
The other four states without a BFC are Hawaii, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Even here I am shocked that at least one Massachusetts town hasn't won a BFC award because of some very innovative (and controversial to some) things that have been built in both Cambridge (Alewife Park and Ride Bike Cage, Vassar St) and Boston.
Also disappointing is that besides not having a Bicycle Friendly Community, New Jersey also does not have a Bicycle Friendly Business. Only three other states, Hawaii, Nevada and North Dakota, have that dubious distinction of not having at least one of either.
Repeated again from last year is my list of possible candidates for BFC status:
- Ocean City (Cape May)
- Hoboken (Hudson) *Received Honorable Mention*
- Madison (Morris)
- Montclair (Essex) *Received Honorable Mention*
- Princeton (Mercer)
- Avalon (Cape May)
- Collingswood (Camden)
- Morristown (Morris)
- Haddonfield (Camden)
- West Windsor (Mercer)
- Franklin (Somerset)
- Newark (Essex)
New Jersey does rank very well on the state level. Undoubtedly due to the hard work of a few people at NJDOT and elsewhere, New Jersey is the 8th best in the nation and even winning a Bronze Level award (the highest award has only been Silver on the state level). Unfortunately missing out again on winning a BFC prize is disappointing at the very least and is a sign of the difficult battles in advancing cycling at the local level which is where a bicycle can be the most effective as a form of transportation.
In a future piece I'll look into possible reasons why New Jersey is missing out on attaining at least one Bicycle Friendly Community (Hint: Show me the bike lanes!)