Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community, 2022-2026
On December 14, 2022, Oakland was recognized as a continuing Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) as one of only 36 cities nationwide to receive this distinction. This nationwide program provides comprehensive evaluations of local communities’ efforts to promote bicycling and – for those that make the cut – makes awards at Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond levels. Oakland achieved Bronze in 2010, then Silver in 2014, and then Gold in 2018. Each award lasts for four years at which time communities must reapply to maintain their designation and to seek advancement. The award recognizes Oakland’s ongoing investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies by City departments, other public agencies, Oakland bike shops, and the many community-based organizations with bicycle-themed missions.
Currently there are 501 Bicycle Friendly Communities but only 36 have made Gold. (No community has achieved Diamond, and only five have achieved Platinum: Davis, Boulder, Fort Collins, Portland, and Madison.) Of the 50 largest U.S. cities, only Oakland and seven other cities have been awarded Gold or higher: Portland, Tuscon, San Francisco, Washington, Minneapolis, Austin, and Seattle.
Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community, 2018-2022
On December 6, 2018, Oakland was designated as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), joining San Francisco as one of only 34 cities nationwide to be so designated. Oakland was one of only three cities nationwide to improve upon their 2014 Silver designation, which followed the City’s first designation as Bronze earned in 2010, and reflects the steady progress Oakland has made to make the city more supportive of bicycling. The award recognizes the investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies by City departments, other public agencies, Oakland bike shops, and the many community-based organizations with bicycle-themed missions.
Of 464 BFC cities, Oakland is the only one with a population between 400,000 and 680,000 to be ranked Gold. (Five cities are much larger—averaging 825,000 in size, and 26 much smaller—averaging 74,000 in size.) There are five Platinum Level cities, and no jurisdiction has yet achieved Diamond Level status.
Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community, 2014-2018
In November 2014, Oakland was awarded Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community status from LAB (see press release). In perspective: at that time, of 326 U.S. communities designated as BFCs, Oakland was one of 71 to be ranked Silver. Of the country’s 50 most populous cities, 11 were Silver Level Bike Friendly Communities; Oakland was the only city in that group that moved up from Bronze during the Fall 2014 award cycle. There were only 25 cities rated higher, 21 Gold Level (including San Francisco and Seattle) and four Platinum Level (Boulder, CO; Davis, CA; Fort Collins, CO and Portland, OR).
How did we do it? Please read our application. Also see the League's overview of our application with measures they recommend to get Oakland to the next level, and the League's summary of feedback they received from community reviewers.
Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community, 2010-2014
In 2010, Oakland was designated a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community. The recognition met the Oakland Bicycle Master Plan (2007) objective to "publicly strive to become a Bicycle Friendly Community by 2012." LAB review of Oakland's achievements and challenges provided an objective review of the community's progress.
To celebrate the designation, Oakland held a photo contest, created a "Welcome to Oakland" postcard set, and installed five purple Bicycle Friendly Community signs on bikeways entering Oakland:
- on Fruitvale Ave at Alameda Ave, northbound (from Alameda)
- on Telegraph Ave at Woolsey St, southbound (from Berkeley)
- on Pinehurst Rd at Skyline Blvd, southbound (from Contra Costa County)
- on Mandela Pkwy at Horton St, southbound (from Emeryville)
- on Bancroft Ave at 109th Ave, westbound (from San Leandro)