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Rockville got an honorable mention? Rockville? Have the judges ever been to Rockville? I wonder what their criteria possibly could have been...

But DC, Arlington, and Alexandria are already BFCs. So we don't have to bike very far, or for most of us, at all.

Can someone tell me the point of this program? Is it to make the local officials feel good? Like they got a gold star on their homework? Or is there some real benefit to getting a bronze rating from LAB?

And yes, the rating system must be a log-scale or something because the communities on the lower end are orders of magnitude worse than the ones on the upper end in terms of bike infrastructure.

All that being said, I guess its good that the program gets people talking about the issues.

Jeff Peel could probably weigh in better, but here's how I see the point. Cities want the gold star, so they petition LAB. LAB rates them and tells them how to get a better rating. City leaders then make those changes to get a higher rating and cyclists win.

It's a way for cities to see how they're doing and pursue best practices.

Oh, and Rockville used to be bronze.

Does that mean that LAB revoked Rockville's bronze or demoted them? Or I guess a rating is only good for so long and then you get re-rated?

It's only good for two years and then you have to reapply. I don't think Rockville reapplied in 2006 and I guess they've slipped since then or standards have risen.

Applications from communities are evaluated by staff, expert review panel and local cyclists/advocates.

Yes, communities get a gold star as you put through recognition of their work to accommodate and encourage cycling. That progress should be celebrated. Also, I doubt their is a tourism board or Chamber of Commerce that doesn't want to promote how great their area is for tourist, new residents,relocating companies, etc.

Communities also get to use it as a benchmarking piece as well. Things may not happen as quickly as we like **cough, cough-MBT and bike lane striping in DC- cough, cough** but this award gives leaders and transportation officials a higher bar to aim for, and advocates a carrot to waive in front of them along the way. Award levels as benchmarks have worked their way into bicycle master plans in many cities, and their use of the program as guidance on how to improve is working for them. Along with that, all applying communities, awarded or not, receive feedback on what their next steps should be. Places without dedicated bike/ped staff or who are just starting to make these improvements rely on that heavily, and staff is there year round to offer them technical assistance.

I can tell you that Arlington definitely pays attention to it, and a desire to renew its status has definitely made an impact on the decisions of the County.

Something else to think about is the State would not allow Rockville to post its BFC sign (when it had Bronze) because it is not in the MUTCD. We need to make sure communities are allowed to brag about their efforts.

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