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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin leads the way during a bicycle ride Tuesday across the Missouri River Bridge. Jefferson City became one of 476 bicycle-friendly communities in the United States to receive a bronze BFC designation from the nonprofit League of American Bicyclists. Photo by Mark Wilson / News Tribune.

Jefferson City received a national recognition Tuesday for its cycling community and infrastructure.

Jefferson City became one of 476 bicycle-friendly communities in the United States after receiving a bronze BFC designation from the nonprofit League of American Bicyclists, according to a city news release Tuesday.

To receive a four-year BFC designation, Jefferson City had to earn points for things the city has done to promote cycling, including adding bicycle racks and creating bicycle lanes. Those points translate to bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond ranks.

Over the last five years, the city has made several strides toward becoming more bicycle-friendly. It added bicycle racks and lanes throughout the city, brought in the bike-share program, resurrected its bicycle subcommittee, created more cycling classes and started a local cyclist-friendly businesses recognition, among other items.

"It feels phenomenal," said Ashley Varner, healthy communities coordinator for Capital Region Medical Center. "All of those pieces of the puzzle awarded us points as a community to go towards this."

Individuals from the Jefferson City Public Works Department, Jefferson City Police Department, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and CRMC's Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities submitted the application.

Jefferson City is the eighth Missouri community to receive a BFC designation. Columbia, Clayton, Kansas City, Lee's Summit, Ferguson, Springfield and St. Louis received designations previously.

The city received an honorable mention for the BFC designation in November 2017.

CAMPO, representing Jefferson City and other Mid-Missouri municipalities, applied for the BFC designation in 2014, but didn't receive it.

As an employer, Jefferson City received a bronze bicycle-friendly business designation in early 2017, meaning the city provides bicycle amenities and education to its employees.

The city will have to renew its BFC designation every four years, according to the news release.

Moving forward, it's important for the community to maintain the cycling culture it has in place, Varner said.

The city plans to add more bicycle lanes and implement city code changes to reaffirm the city's support of livable streets, City Engineer David Bange said. Livable streets are designed for all types of transportation and can include sidewalks, crosswalks, cyclist accommodations and greenway extensions.

Varner said she would like to expand the bike-share program and offer more cycling education and classes.

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