Palo Alto named Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

Published on June 07, 2021

Bicycle Friendly Community - Gold award badge

The League of American Bicyclists honored the efforts of Palo Alto to build better places for people to bike with a Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. Palo Alto joins 487 communities across the country in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. We’re proud to be part of the nearly 34 out of 487 communities across the United States that are recognized Gold Level BFC. The award recognizes Palo Alto for its commitment to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit its residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices.

Palo Alto has laid the groundwork over several years to make biking a safe, accessible option for all. This Bicycle Friendly Community award is the culmination of years of work put in by Palo Altans and its bike advocates for better biking. Palo Alto’s commitment to better biking also helps reduce vehicular travel, which in turn contributes to the City’s ambitious goal of achieving an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) below 1990 levels by 2030 (the “80 x 30” goal).

Parents showcase kid-friendly bikes

The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program sets the standard for how communities build and benchmark progress toward making biking better. The BFC award process considers very visible elements such as bike infrastructure, other essential elements include efforts around adult and youth bike education, encouragement through events like Bike to Work Day, evaluation mechanisms, and enforcement all through the lens of equity. The Gold-Level BFC award recognizes Palo Alto’s commitment to improving conditions for all people who bike through investments in bike education programs, regular bike events that promote and encourage people to choose biking, pro-bike policies, and bike infrastructure. To learn more about the BFC program, visit

The City’s comprehensive Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program supports students to bike and walk by delivering education, pop-up events, and workshops. This pandemic year, SRTS educators provided 5,917 students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 (55% of total PAUSD enrollment) with 236,790 total instructional minutes, or 3,949 instructional hours, during the 2020-21 school year. That roughly translates to 30-45 minutes for most students and about 60 minutes for grades 3 and 6.

Parents at school in front of their kid-friendly bikes

Palo Alto has more bike improvement projects in the pipeline which will help the city to achieve higher bike friendly standards and meet its Sustainability and Climate Action goals. This summer, the City will begin updating the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan to refine goals and to identify city-wide bike improvement projects. The city is currently undertaking community outreach to improve bicycling along East Meadow Drive, Fabian Way and the Waverly Bike Path in South Palo Alto. Learn more about the South Palo Alto Bikeways project.

To learn more about the role of transportation in achieving the City’s 80 x 30 climate action goal, please visit our Sustainability Mobility page or watch the recent Getting to 80 x 30: Your Transportation Vision for Palo Alto webinar.

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