Interesting story at the Boise Weekly website... the League of American Bicyclists has upped Boise to "silver" status, for being bicycle-friendly. For ten years or so, we've been mired in the Bronze doldrums.
Why the upgrade?
BW reports that "factors contributing to Boise's gaining the silver include increased bike lane access, converting some one-way streets downtown to two-way streets - slowing car traffic in the process - and the rollout of rideshare program Boise GreenBike."
The League rates cities both large and small "based on how cities and communities rate based on enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws, rider education, 'engineering' safe places to ride, evaluating rider experiences, encouraging bicycle use and assessing 'key outcomes' like ridership, crashes and fatalities."
Our silver status puts us in rarefied territory... other Silver cities include Anchorage, Oakland, Salt Lake City, and, somewhat surprisingly... Chicago and New York City. (20 bicyclists died in NYC in 2014, 7% of all traffic fatalities, and 8 in Chicago. Both numbers were more than double the year before... they may be in danger of getting demoted off the League's list.)
As I said in a comment on the BW web page... I feel that enforcement and rider education are both nearly nonexistent here in the Boise area. (Although the Boise Bicycle Project is being quite proactive in offering educational opportunities.) I do believe, however, that Boise's "culture" is evolving to be more tolerant of bicycles in the vehicle mix. And the City is promoting bicycle use. And ACHD (the builders and maintainers of most of our roads) are very conscientious about designing roads to be bike-friendly. (However... we should get points-off for the wretched camera-controlled intersections. So far they haven't made a believer out of me... I lean toward the low-tech ground loops. More often than not, I get the impression I could wait 'til Kingdom Come and the light would never change on my behalf. Okay... I've vented.)