The city of Pleasanton has retained its designation as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists.
The bronze award, announced last week, recognizes Pleasanton's dedication to improving conditions for cyclists through sustainable infrastructure, education programs, pro-cycling policies and promoting bicycling as a safe and healthy transportation method.
"The city is proud to have made significant progress in the last four years by updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, adding green bike lanes, constructing the city's first protected intersection, providing more bicycle safety instruction and encouragement and improving accessibility near the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station," City Manager Nelson Fialho said in a statement.
"We will continue to work on the goals established in the updated Master Plan as well as engage our community to maintain our BFC ranking," he added.
Pleasanton joined 60 other communities in receiving new or renewed rankings last week. Re-evaluated every four years, Pleasanton first earned a bronze award in 2014, improving upon its honorable mention designation from the previous cycle.
The program, which identifies Bicycle Friendly Communities across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, aims to revolutionize the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and accessibility, while allowing them to benchmark progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness, according to organizers.
"We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation," said Bill Nesper, executive director at the League of American Bicyclists. "We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone."
Communities like Pleasanton must apply to renew or improve their status every four years, meaning they must at least maintain their existing efforts while also keeping up with changing technology, national safety standards and community-driven best practices, city officials said.
No other Tri-Valley municipality is currently designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community.
Pleasanton scored particularly well in metrics such as bicycle education in schools, Bike to Work events, active bicycle advocacy and advisory groups, few crashes and having a comprehensive bicycle plan, according to its report card from the league.
"Congratulations on adopting the 2017 Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan. This plan will be a blueprint for improvements and has many great recommendations for a more connected network of safe and comfortable bicycle facilities," the report card said.
Areas of improvement include commuter ridership at 1.06% (compared to 2.7% average for the silver level) and bicycle-friendly laws and ordinance (ranked Acceptable, compared to silver average of Good).
Overall, the city ranked as follows in the five main categories: engineering (4.8 out of 10), education (4.5), encouragement (4.3), enforcement (3.0) and education and planning (4.8).
The report card lists a handful of key steps for Pleasanton to rise to the silver level next time around, including appoint a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, continue increasing high-quality and safe bike parking, consider launching a bike share system, expand bicycle education opportunities for adults and adopt a comprehensive road safety plan or "Vision Zero" policy.
To view Pleasanton's new report card, visit bikeleague.org/community. To learn more about the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, visit www.cityofpleasantonca.gov.