Eugene one of top cities in nation for bicycling

Eugene one of top cities in nation for bicycling »Play Video
The DeFazio Bike Bridge in Eugene.

Press release courtesy City of Eugene

Eugene has moved into the prestigious gold circle as a bicycle friendly community.

The League of American Bicyclists this week announced that Eugene has become one of only 10 cities in the nation to be designated at the Gold level, which is presented only to communities with "remarkable commitments to bicycling."

"The League is proud to award Eugene for its work to promote bicycle safety and education while encouraging bicycling in the community," said League President Andy Clarke.

"Cycling and the use of alternate modes of transportation are cornerstones in our local sustainability program," said Mayor Kitty Piercy.  "The recognition that we truly are a bicycle friendly community reaffirms our commitment to do the right thing for our environment, our economy and our health."

Eugene was designated at the Silver Level in 2004.  In reapplying for designation in 2009, Eugene citied a number of factors that make it a bicycle friendly community:

  • Eugene has 80 miles of on-street bike lanes and 41 miles of off-street paths connected to a regional network of cycling routes;
  • There is a strong bicycle education program, including the Eye-to-Eye traffic safety campaign and a well-organized Safe Routes to Schools program;
  • Local cyclists are well represented in policy and legislative issues and have strong connections through groups such as Greater Eugene Area Riders (GEARS), the BikeLane Coalition, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), Disciples of Dirt and the League of American Bicyclists.

"We came up strong in every category - engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning," said Eugene Bicycle Coordinator Lee Shoemaker. "Gold-level designation is an honor for our community, and it's also an incentive for us to continuously improve the cycling experience here in Eugene."

Six other communities in Oregon have been designated bicycle friendly communities by the League of American Bicyclists.  Portland is designated at the Platinum level and Corvallis is a Gold-level community, Bend is at the Silver level and Ashland, Beaverton and Salem are at the Bronze level.