Oakland Likes Bikes

Prestige Lifestyle Co.

As a newly minted "Bicycle Friendly Community," the city of  Oakland joined the ranks of 157 other pedal-passionate locales across 43  states as designated by a nationwide bicycling organization, city officials  announced Wednesday.

This year, 18 new communities were awarded the title by the League  of American Bicyclists, which stated that those cities welcome cyclists by  "providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for  transportation and recreation."

"This national recognition demonstrates the commitment of the  community and the responsiveness of government in achieving Oakland's vision  of a sustainable city," Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said in a statement.

Oakland applied for the designation earlier this year as a way to  obtain feedback on its progress in implementing the city's master bike plan,  according to the city's Public Works Agency.

The city won a bronze-level award, agency officials said.

Kassie Rohrbach, executive director of the advocacy group Walk  Oakland Bike Oakland, said the designation reflects the city's progress as it  continues "to increase the safety and usability of our streets so that more  Oaklanders can choose biking for every-day transportation."

Of the 70 largest U.S. cities, Oakland has the seventh-largest  percentage of people bicycling to work, according to U.S. Census Bureau data  from a 2008 survey.

Oakland now has 97 miles of bikeway, with an additional 30 miles  of new or improved bikeway slated for completion by the end of 2011,  according to the agency.

Photo: Thomas Hawk on Flickr

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