Bikes Belong Awards Five REI/BFC Grants

Bikes Belong Awards Five REI/BFC Grants

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Bikes Belong, League of American Bicyclists & REI help nonprofts make urban areas more bike friendly.


Bikes Belong announced grants to five local nonprofits committed to establishing Bicycle Friendly Communities. Through their collaboration with the League of American Bicyclists and three-year partnership with the co-op, the REI/Bicycle Friendly Communities grant program supports the recipients’ work with local governments and planning departments to make urban areas safer and more welcoming to bike enthusiasts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) Boulder, CO - March 17, 2010 -  Bikes Belong, in partnership with the League of American Bicyclists and with generous support from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), is thrilled to announce this year's REI/Bicycle Friendly Community Grant Awards. These grants, between $15,000 and $20,000 each, were awarded to five grassroots groups that are working closely with their city governments to make conditions better for bicycling in aspiring and designated Bicycle Friendly Communities. 

Applicants for these invitation-only grants were asked to present their high-priority bicycling projects within the framework of the BFC program's five Es—Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation—and explain how they'd execute these initiatives if funding were available.

"The responses confirmed that advocates are doing innovative and exciting work in America's big cities," said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong.

"REI is proud to support the comprehensive and collaborative work of Bikes Belong and the League of American Bicyclists to help make cities and urban areas more safe and welcoming to cycling enthusiasts of all abilities," said Brad Brown, Bikes Belong Foundation board member and REI vice president of E-Commerce & Web Strategy.

Awards Winners:
The following groups received REI/BFC Grants and were honored at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. last week. Each grantee will also receive technical assistance from the League's Bicycle Friendly America staff to help develop and implement their BFC initiatives and improve conditions for bicycling city wide. Here's a list of recipients and a brief overview of some of their BFC goals for this year:
Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota—Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota will help boost BFC-related program efforts in Minneapolis—currently a Silver BFC—and communities surrounding it, helping to make the Twin Cities Metro Area better for bicycling through complementary planning, infrastructure improvements, and promotion efforts.
Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia will help coordinate and manage construction of the $17 million in trail projects recently awarded to Philadelphia—a Bronze BFC—through the federal TIGER grant process.
Cascade Bicycle Club—Seattle, Washington
The Cascade Bicycle Club will continue to work with their Gold-level city to bolster important bicycling initiatives that can serve as models for aspiring BFCs, including Seattle's Bicycle Master Plan, Complete Streets ordinance, and Bike Smart Seattle program.
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition—Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will work with LA's bike-friendly council districts and surrounding communities—including Pasadena, Culver City, Burbank, Long Beach, Glendale, and Santa Monica—to build upon regional bike-friendly efforts through the BFC process.
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance—Detroit, Michigan
The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance will continue to implement BFC initiatives and policies in the Motor City by supporting Detroit's Non-Motorized Transportation Plan in coordination with its own ambitious vision for a greenway network, complete streets, and safe routes for cyclists.
About the REI/BFC Grant Program and Partners
The REI Bicycle Friendly Communities Grant Program is a collaborative effort of REI, the Bikes Belong Foundation, and the League of American Bicyclists. Advocacy organizations in aspiring and designated Bicycle Friendly Communities are selected by our committee and invited to apply for funding to help their cities prioritize and reach BFC goals. The grants provide seed money for program development, bicycle master plans, infrastructure improvements, and innovative pilot projects. The League's BFC staff also provides grant recipients with consulting expertise to help groups prioritize and reach bicycle-friendly goals and benchmark best practices.
The Bicycle Friendly Community program was developed by the League of American Bicyclists to inspire city governments to create safe, appealing bicycle routes and facilities as well as programs that encourage people of all ages to ride bikes for transportation and recreation. Currently, there are 96 communities across the country designated with bronze, silver, gold, or platinum BFC awards. The League's BFC staff provides applicants with resources and technical assistance, and offers workshops and site visits for communities that want to develop and energize their efforts to become more bicycle friendly. Bikes Belong has been a key supporter of this important program since 2001.
REI—a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating, and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship—sponsors this important grant program. REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations, and financial contributions.
Bikes Belong is the U.S. bicycle industry organization dedicated to putting more people on bicycles more often. Bikes Belong Coalition works to increase federal bike funding, awards grants to support innovative bike projects, promotes bicycling and its benefits, and sponsors key initiatives such as the National Bike Summit. The affiliated Bikes Belong Foundation focuses on improving bicycle safety, enhancing children's bike programs, and making communities friendlier for bicyclists by backing national efforts such as Safe Routes to School and Bicycle Friendly Communities.

REI Headlines blog,, talks about the recent announcement by Bikes Belong to help local nonprofts make urban areas more bike friendly via the REI/Bicycle Friendly Community Grant Awards program.


Megan Behrbaum
Elizabeth Train
Bikes Belong