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People On Bikes

Orlando Leads the Nation in Bicycle Friendly Business Awards

The League of American Bicyclists has recently announced its latest Bicycle Friendly Business awards, recognizing 64 organizations across the United States, including 13 Central Florida-based organizations. Two first-time applicants, including Bike/Walk Central Florida, earned Platinum awards – the highest honor in the Bicycle Friendly Business awards program. This latest round of awards brings the total number of Bicycle Friendly Businesses nationwide to 1,547, all working towards creating better places for people to live, work, and play through biking.  

Bill Nesper, the executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, says that “The collective power of the Bicycle Friendly Business program is in its ability to inspire diverse partnerships to form a strong, unified movement to promote safe and easy bicycling across the community.” He added that “organizations of every size and industry are building off one another’s efforts to improve bicycling and boost the number of places in their community where traveling by bike is not only possible for employees but encouraged for all.” 

Orlando BFB Training Kickoff With Bill Nesper (Virtual) joining members of the City of Orlando, Bike/Walk Central Florida, The Milk District, VHB, Kimley-Horn, and HDR.

Orlando takes the lead in the number of Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFBs) awarded in this round, accounting for 20% of the fall 2022 cohort. This is a result of the City’s proactive promotion of the Bicycle Friendly Business program in partnership with local advocates and organizations. Christine Acosta with Pedal Power Promoters, who previously helped Tampa, Florida, achieve an impressive total of 71 BFBs, led the training and on-the-ground efforts. Bike/Walk Central Florida and local Main Street The Milk District each helped guide partner businesses through applications. Together, the collaboration of the four organizations contributed to Orlando’s success.  

“As we continue to expand our bicycle-focused programs across Central Florida, we now have another tool in our toolkit! Bicycle Friendly Businesses enable us to advocate for other organizations and employers to make the improvements necessary to become a Bicycle Friendly Business themselves, magnifying our goal of transforming Central Florida into a premiere biking and walking community to their staff and customers,” said Bike/Walk Central Florida Marketing Manager Eric Trull, who led their team’s application. 

Central Florida Businesses Awarded the Bike Friendly Business Designation 

Platinum Certification 

  • Bike/Walk Central Florida

Gold Certifications

  • City of Orlando’s City Hall 
  • Kyle’s Bike Shop (Milk District Main Street) 

Silver Certifications 

  • HDR Inc. 
  • Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. 
  • VHB 

Bronze Certifications 

  • À La Cart (Milk District Main Street) 
  • Alchemy Salon (Milk District Main Street) 
  • Barley & Vine Biergarten (Milk District Main Street) 
  • Inwood Consulting Engineers, Inc. 
  • Juice Bar (Milk District Main Street) 
  • Sideward Brewing Co. (Milk District Main Street) 
  • The Nook on Robinson (Milk District Main Street) 
  • Whippoorwill Beer House and Package Store (Milk District Main Street) 

“Orlando has been hard at work transforming the City Beautiful into the City Bikeable — a world-class, economically vibrant, sustainable city with multi-modal transportation options for residents and visitors alike,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The Bicycle Friendly Business program highlights the partnerships needed to make such a city a reality. We’re proud that Orlando can lead by example and delighted to be one of the hundreds of cities across the U.S. making infrastructure investments at the municipal level, supported by local businesses that welcome and celebrate their employees and patrons that arrive by bike.” 

Orlando Mayor Dyer rides with Commissioner Stuart, (former) Florida Bicycle Association Executive Director Becky Afonso, MetroPlan Orlando Senior Transportation Planner/Project Manager Mighk Wilson, and a few hundred downtown workers on the 21st Annual Bike to Work Day.

Orlando has over 45 miles of off-street trails, over 50 miles of signed routes, and over 265 miles of bike lanes. The City’s Transportation Department is working towards making Downtown a more walkable and bike-friendly destination with two-way streets, wider sidewalks, and a well-connected urban trail system. In 2023, portions of the Downtown Loop, including the Downtown Connector Trail Gap, will be completed to provide residents with a car-free option to access shopping, dining, entertainment, parks, offices, and services. The entire Loop is expected to be complete in the summer of 2025. 

The Bicycle Friendly Business awards program continues to inspire diverse partnerships and collaborations with organizations working towards creating bike-friendly communities. The City of Orlando, Bike/Walk Central Florida, and its partners are leading the way in promoting biking as a viable mode of transportation, and the future looks bright for bike-friendly cities across the US. 

The City of Orlando and Bike/Walk Central Florida encourage local businesses to apply for the Bicycle Friendly America program, which awards designations based on five qualities of engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation. Examples of bicycle friendliness include hosting events that support bicyclists, encouraging customers and/or employees to arrive by bike, and providing facilities that make bicycling to their establishments easier, such as bike parking. Businesses located within the City of Orlando are encouraged to contact the City’s transportation department for assistance in applying. The next deadline to apply is March 1, 2023. 

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