For the 3rd time in a row, the City of Tulsa has received a Bicycle Friendly Community bronze-level designation from the League of American Bicyclists. Tulsa received its first Bicycle Friendly Community designation in 2009, followed by a renewal in 2013, and now a second renewal in 2017. Each designation lasts four years.
Tulsa is among the 430 Bicycle Friendly Communities nationwide, and one of three designated in Oklahoma. The others are Norman and Stillwater, also at the bronze level.
“In the last decade, Tulsa has really become a cycling city,” said Mayor G.T. Bynum. “We are implementing our Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan with the establishment of bike lanes through the city, we are home to one of the top cycling races in America, and now we will be the home to an internationally-competitive cycling sport in USA BMX. All of this points toward the community wide priority we have placed on making Tulsa a great cycling city - and our repeated recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community is the natural outgrowth of that.”
The Bicycle Friendly Community award recognizes Tulsa’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. In Tulsa, bicycling activities range from the nationally recognized annual Tulsa Tough racing event attended by more than 50,000 people, to ongoing activities such as kids’ after-school bike clubs and adult bike clubs that ride on a weekly basis.
Tulsa also is the future home of the USA BMX national arena and headquarters, to be built at the Evans-Fintube historic site in the Greenwood District. Construction of this project is scheduled to begin in 2018, with $15 million in funding from the Vision Tulsa sales tax.
Current bicycling infrastructure in Tulsa includes 46 miles of on-street bicycle facilities and 117 miles of off-street bicycle facilities. Soon more bicycle infrastructure will be added as Tulsa continues to implement its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, also known as the GO Plan.
The GO Plan was developed through collaboration between citizens and city government, with guidance from Tulsa’s volunteer Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee. The GO Plan follows Tulsa’s Complete Streets policy that calls for creating safe, comfortable, attractive bicycle improvements.
Tulsans’ support for bicycling includes not only developing the GO Plan, but voting for $7.3 million to implement it using Improve Our Tulsa and Vision Tulsa funds.