Separate and paved bicycle lanes are among the features that have earned the City of Whitehorse a silver designation from the Share the Road Cycling Coalition.
In a June 22 statement highlighting the silver distinction, Share the Road noted Whitehorse and Anchorage are the only two communities north of 60 to receive the silver designation as bicycle-friendly communities.
“Whitehorse’s strengths include paved and separated bicycle paths to key destinations, an extensive recreational trail network, and (it) has embraced its subarctic climate with a Winter Bike to Work Day and maintenance of select bicycle routes year-round,” the organization noted in its statement.
Share the Road is an Ontario-based not-for-profit that aims to make communities across the country bicycle-friendly for all ages and abilities.
It launched the Bicycle Friendly Communities program, originally started in the United States by the League of American Bicyclists, in Canada in 2010.
Whitehorse was one of three communities to receive new designations with both Brantford and Lincoln, Ont., upgraded from an honourable mention to bronze designations.
Brantford received its honourable mention in 2018 and was upgraded this year thanks to an updated Transportation Master Plan, ongoing investments into commuter paths, cycle bridges, a separated highway crossing, and pandemic-friendly Bike Month initiatives.
Lincoln, which received its honourable mention in 2017, was upgraded to a bronze for leveraging natural features such as vineyards and orchards to promote cycling tourism and building a network of cycling routes, trails and loops.
A pump track was also recently installed in the community and there is a commitment from the municipal government to maintain multi-use trails through the winter.
“We are pleased to see that communities are committed to supporting recent increases in bicycle ridership,” Subha Ramanathan, Bicycle Friendly Communities manager at Share the Road, said.
A total of 52 communities are designated as Bicycle Friendly Communities in Canada.