As National Bike Month winds down, we bring you the last of our Advocacy Interviews. We had a chance to catch up with the folks from the Alliance For Biking & Walking— an advocacy group that strives to improve our communities by helping to recraft them into more livable spaces.
By lobbying local, state and Federal government organizations, collecting data for governments and groups to use, and helping to found grassroots organizations all over the country, the Alliance has done a lot to help riders and walkers everywhere.
Read on to find out more.
1. What’s the goal of your organization?
Communities are better places when it’s comfortable and safe to get around by bike. And the people who affect change for better biking are the grassroots advocates who make sure that bicyclists’ interests are represented in state and local government. We give advocates tools to win campaigns that transform communities into great places to bike and walk.
2. What projects are you working on currently?
We’re currently organizing a training for city-based advocacy groups who want to build protected bike lane networks in their cities. Advocates are increasingly in positions to push their cities to build awesome protected bike lanes so that everybody can feel comfortable biking around town. We’re going to train about 25 advocates on how to launch campaigns similar to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Connecting the City initiative, which was a total game-changer for SF.
We’re also organizing our biennial Leadership Retreat, a big pow wow for state and local biking and walking advocates. It’s the homecoming ball of bike/ped advocacy.
3. What actions can I take locally to make the experience of cycling better in my community?
Get involved at the local level through being a member, volunteering, donating, and encouraging others to get involved. Local advocates are the folks who are responsible for getting bike lanes on the ground, passing pro-bike legislation, and building bike share systems.
If there isn’t yet a bike advocacy group in your area, consider starting one. Contact us at the Alliance for Biking & Walking for tips and coaching.
4. What are you doing to get more people on bikes?
The Alliance is uniting, supporting, and funding the people who teach local biking classes, start Safe Routes to School programs, make bike maps, lobby your government to make biking better, and tons of other pro-bike stuff.
5. How can your message resonate with non-bike riders?
More and more people are recognizing that better biking isn’t just about better biking – it’s also about building the types of places where people want to live and work and shop.