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Town named silver-level bicycle-friendly community

The Minuteman Bikeway passes by Spy Pond over an old railway bridge. Nov. 5, 2010.The Minuteman Bikeway passes by Spy Pond over an old railway bridge. / Benn Craig photo The League of American Bicyclists honored the efforts of Arlington to build better places for people to bike with a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community award, one of only four communities in Massachusetts so designated.

Arlington joins 487 communities nationwide in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. The award recognizes the town's commitment to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit its residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices.

Arlington was first recognized as a bicycle-friendly community at the bronze level in 2012. In applying for an upgraded award, the town highlighted significant improvements for bicycling made in the last several years.

That includes implementing bike lanes on Mystic Street and Lake Street; safety improvements for users of the Minuteman Bikeway in Arlington Center with the Safe Travel Project; expansion of the Bluebikes bike-share system into Arlington; updating the bicycle parking zoning ordinance and creating bicycle parking guidelines; lowering the townwide speed limit to 25 mph on most roads; removing the operating hours on the Minuteman Bikeway; and the development of Connect Arlington, the Town's Sustainable Transportation Plan.

The league's program sets the standard for how communities build and benchmark progress toward making biking better. This round of awards includes 37 new and renewing awardees, joining a total of 487 current bicycle-friendly communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Silver award recognizes Arlington's commitment to improving conditions for people who bike through investments in bike education programs, pro-bike policies and bike infrastructure.

More than 850 communities applied for recognition. While the award process considers visible elements such as bike infrastructure, other essential elements include efforts around adult and youth bike education, encouragement through such events as "Bike to Work Day," evaluation mechanisms and enforcement. 

The five levels of the award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices.  

To learn more about the program, visit

Minuteman Bikeway is included in this listing

This report was published Thursday, May 20, 2021.

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