The Bicycle Friendly America program is a great benchmarking tool to determine how well a state is doing in terms of accommodating bicycling not only from the statewide level, but also at the community, business and university levels. While South Carolina trails behind other states at in terms of bicycle safety, our bike friendly ranking- 32nd- shows us in a much better position and demonstrates that we are all working to improve the state. In the particular climate of challenges we face, much of this work must happen from the ground up, which is why we are thrilled to announce that Rock Hill was awarded a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation this past month, making it our sixth in the state.
“We are excited that Rock Hill recognizes that simple steps to make biking safe and comfortable
pay huge dividends in civic, community and economic development,” said League President Andy
Clarke. “Bicycling is more than a practical, cost-effective solution to many municipal challenges – it’s a
way to make Rock Hill a place where people don’t just live and work, but thrive.”
“Receiving this designation from the League of American Bicyclists is not only a tremendous honor, it is
a testament to Rock Hill’s commitment to providing the highest quality of life for all citizens,” said Rock
Hill Mayor Doug Echols. “Rock Hill is fortunate to have engaged citizen groups such as the Bicycle and
Pedestrian Task Force, Eat Smart Move More York County and the Rock Hill Bike Club working alongside
staff to provide bike friendly routes, facilities and programs enabling citizens and visitors to use bicycles
for transportation and recreation.”
Rock Hill’s establishment of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force, public/private partnership to provide cycling facilities at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center- including South Carolina’s only velodrome- and the citizen engagement thanks to the Planning Department that led to the draft College Town Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan all played a large role in winning the city this award. The BFC designation supports city plans for trails and greenways; a strategic plan to enhance connectivity through well-planned streets, trails and greenway systems; and initiatives to fight obesity and chronic disease. The Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department submitted the BFC application with assistance from the Bike/Ped Task Force, the city’s Planning Department and the Rock Hill Bicycle Club. The city’s BFC status is valid for four years, and Rock Hill can apply for an increased designation level at that time. They will receive detailed feedback so that they can continue to improve and become even more bicycle friendly.
Also recognized by the League this month are two new Bicycle Friendly Businesses. The Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery in Greenville and Bees Ferry Veterinary Hospital in Charleston were both awarded a bronze-level designation. The Children’s Museum of the Upstate in Greenville received an honorable mention. We hope you share our excitement at these announcements; our goal for 2013 is to get a 7th BFC and even more BFBs!