Bicycle Friendly Communities Program

This case study examines the spread of the international Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) program into Ontario, Canada – a process initiated by the Share the Road Cycling Commission in partnership with BFC’s original founders, the League of American Bicyclists. Before program implementation, Share the Road staff worked with municipal transportation experts to get a sense of the issues facing Ontario municipalities with respect to the growth of cycling as a mode share and improving conditions for cyclists. Monthly newsletters to more than 5,000 recipients were used to launch the program in addition to in-person promotions by Share the Road staff at several annual events organized by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. Interested municipalities completed an in-depth application form, which was later evaluated by both local community stakeholders and a panel of expert judges who would provide feedback designed to inspire further actions that would make cycling safer in the community. Successful applicants received a BFC certification and in addition to receiving periodic communications about new BFC programs, projects, and policy updates, were linked to programs, training opportunities, and local organizations that could further advance their programs. Progress was tracked via bicycle counters, the number of people using certain programs or products, and bicycle accounts, and, through this evaluation, it was reported that from 2011 to 2014 cycling in Ontario increased from 4% to 5%.

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