Own your backyard: An industry guide to supporting local bike infrastructure

March 21, 2024

By Martina Haggerty, Senior Director of Local Innovation
and Dave Snyder, Senior Director for Infrastructure

Editor’s note: This text was first published online by PeopleForBikes on Feb. 23 and is shared in The Bike Lane with permission.

PeopleForBikes works to empower businesses, suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers across the bike industry to help grow opportunities for more people to ride bikes more often and shape a better future for the next generation of riders. By working with PeopleForBikes, you can help build a more connected and bikeable world right in your own backyard.

Here’s how you can help: 

Know your community’s City Ratings score. PeopleForBikes’ City Ratings program measures communities’ progress in creating safe and connected bike networks. The score’s recreational component measures access to parks, trails, and pump tracks.  

Champion infrastructure projects in your community. Our National Bike Project Tracker, part of the Great Bike Infrastructure Project, highlights planned bike projects across the country. Identify nearby projects you’re passionate about and help get them across the finish line. If you know about a project that isn’t in our tracker, let us know

Connect with state and local advocacy groups in your area and ask how you can help projects get funded and built. Find your nearest advocacy group here.  

  • Consider giving your employees a volunteer day to support local advocacy groups or encourage them to attend important public meetings to advocate for better bike infrastructure. 
  • Sponsor an event like a community bike ride or an open streets event to support the efforts of your local advocacy group. 
  • Join a local business association to emphasize the economic benefits of bikeable communities and encourage their support of bike projects near you.  

Ask your employees and customers to join PeopleForBikes’ newsletter to receive advocacy alerts to support bicycling projects and pro-bike policies in their communities.  

Cultivate local donors to support PeopleForBikes’ work improving bicycling nationwide. 

  • Host a fundraiser and encourage your network and customers to donate and help PeopleForBikes advance bicycling in your community. 
  • Send a fundraising email to your customers on behalf of PeopleForBikes.  

Helpful Resources 

PeopleForBikes’ has numerous valuable resources to help guide your advocacy efforts:   

The PeopleForBikes Bike Advocacy Playbook provides 15 arguments for better biking with links to dozens of talking points and studies.

PeopleForBikes’ Guide to Effective Local Bike Advocacy offers strategies to ensure your advocacy efforts have a lasting impact.

PeopleForBikes’ Legislative Guide for Safe and Connected Infrastructure highlights the most effective legislative strategies to improve local bike infrastructure: 

  • Passing state and local funding for bike infrastructure  
  • Adopting Complete Streets mandates that require safe bike infrastructure as part of road projects 
  • Advancing bike infrastructure through climate legislation 
  • Creating safer roads

Use talking points from our supplemental guides for each policy area to help push for change in your community.

 If projects or policies are at risk, let us know. We can rally support through letters to local officials, PeopleForBikes Advocacy Alerts, and our VoteForBikes campaign.

Your involvement as a member of the bike industry is crucial in shaping bikeable communities. Thank you for being an essential part of the movement to transform the U.S. into the best place in the world to ride a bike. Together, we can make biking safe and accessible for everyone nationwide and welcome more people to the joys and benefits of riding.

For more information and support, reach out to a PeopleForBikes expert: 

  • Martina Haggerty, Senior Director of Local Innovation — martina@peopleforbikes.org 
  • Dave Snyder, Senior Director for Infrastructure — dave@peopleforbikes.org
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