Earlier this month, the League of American Bicyclists recognized 37 communities with Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Awards. St. Louis, previously a Bronze recipient, moved up to become a Silver recipient — one of just 11 cities in the U.S. to receive such a distinction. Springfield, the only other Missouri community on the list, was honored as a Bronze recipient.

“We applaud these communities for making improvements for people who bike in a ways that build upon their existing strengths and are based upon their particular needs, whether that is infrastructure, education or encouragement,” said Bill Nesper, interim executive director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the way that communities are using bicycling as a part of their solution to issues of health, job access, traffic safety and the environment and using our program to make progress in those issues.”

The BFC program provides a road map to building a bicycle-friendly community, and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool. The five levels of the award — diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze — provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.

Each community that applies for a BFC award receives a report card. Explanations of each award level and key data from each report card are available at http://bikeleague.org/content/building-blocks-bicycle-friendly-communities.