Congratulations to the cyclists of Chapel Hill and Durham, who now live in Bike Friendly Communities.
That’s according to the League of American Bicyclists, which bestows its BFC honor on communities that have made an effort to make cycling safe, not suicidal. Chapel Hill and Durham made the list for the first time this fall, earning Bronze status (out of a possible Silver, Gold, and the coveted Platinum, of which there are only three designated communities: Boulder, Colo.; Davis, Calif.; Portland, Ore.). In the Triangle, they join Carrboro, which has been on the list since 2004 and is one of only 28 Silver communities nationwide, and Bronze Cary, a 2003 inductee. Elsewhere in North Carolina, Charlotte, Davidson and Greensboro are all Bronze BFCs.
What makes a community bike friendly?
Well, there’s the official criteria, which you can read about here. But you get a better sense of what makes a place good for biking straight from someone who rides the unmean streets regularly. Durham resident Jack Warman writes a thoughtful piece about Bull City biking in the latest entry on his blog, the intriguingly named “Bing’s Haus of Soft, Creative Non-Violent Playthings.” Writes Warman, “Durham has made great strides in the last several years and is very actively becoming more and more bicycle (and pedestrian) friendly all the time. To those folks who may not see why the League honored Durham as it did, I urge you to consider the following aspects of Durham that make me think Durham is bike friendly … .”
Read, enjoy and, if you’ve ridden a bike in Durham, Warman encourages you to comment.
Photo: One reason Durham is bike friendly: The American Tobacco Trail, which currently runs nearly seven miles from downtown Durham south to N.C. 54.