Advocacy Awards

About the Advocacy Awards

Since 2009, the Alliance for Biking & Walking has held the Advocacy Awards to recognize excellence in the bicycle and pedestrian movement.


The 2014 Advocacy Awards ceremony, presented by Bicycling Magazine, will be held on the evening of Monday, March 3, 2014 at RFD.


Where are the Advocacy Awards held?

The Alliance Advocacy Awards are held in conjunction with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit.

In 2014, the Awards will be from 8:30 to 11:30 on Monday, March 3 at RFD. RFD is just a short walk away from the Renaissance Hotel, where the National Bike Summit is held. Enter on 7th Street for a red carpet treatment.

What awards are given?

Awards are given in the following categories to recognize work done in the last calendar year.

Advocate of the Year

This award goes to an individual leader of a bicycling and/or walking advocacy organization who has shown tireless commitment to promoting bicycling and walking in his/her state/community. This person goes above and beyond the call of duty to transform his/her state/community into a great place for biking and walking. His or her time, knowledge, creativity, and commitment are the highest standard of excellence exemplifying a role model for peers.

Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award

This award commemorates Susie Stephens, one of the Alliance’s founders and an enduring inspiration for many members of the bicycle and pedestrian movement. The honor goes to an individual who carries on Susie’s passion for advocating for bicycling as a fun and economical means of transportation, as well as creating a safe biking and walking environment for all.

Advocacy Organization of the Year

This award goes to a bicycling and/or walking advocacy organization who, in the past year, made significant progress. Their leaders have worked tirelessly together to grow and strengthen their organization and fulfill their mission. The proof of their efforts is in the growth of their capacity and programs and the victories they have achieved for biking and walking in their state/community.

Winning Campaign of the Year

This award goes to an organization for a winning campaign, in the last year, which has had the biggest impact for bicycling and walking. Their victory will dramatically increase biking and walking in their state/community or will dramatically shift the way that biking and walking are considered.

Business Advocate of the Year

This award goes to a business, corporation or corporate employee who have constantly championed the cause of bicycling and walking advocacy. The time, money, and energy they have invested are evidence of their commitment to promoting bicycling and walking for healthier communities and sustainable transportation choices.

Bicycling Magazine People’s Choice Award

The 2014 Bicycling People’s Choice Award will be awarded to a state or local bike advocacy organization in recognition of exemplary work, executed within the past year, that significantly improved bicycling. The People’s Choice winner has made a notable positive impact on bicycling and bicyclists in their community, whether through breaking ground on bike infrastructure or programs to make bicycling accessible to more people more often. Nominations will be received through the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and the winner will be decided by popular vote on

How does the nomination process work?

  • The nominations process is open to the public.

  • Anyone can make up to ten nominations — limit two nominations per person, per award category.

  • Nominations for the 2014 Advocacy Awards were accepted from January 2, 2014 until January 16, 2014.

  • Many nominations are received for the Advocacy Awards. For example, in 2014 over 80 people were nominated for Advocate of the Year. Alliance staff members sort through all submissions to select the final nominees.

  • Depending on the award category, criteria for final nominee status may include overall demonstrated value to the biking & walking advocacy movement, breadth of organizational focus, or Alliance membership status.

Who decides who will win?

Final nominees in each Award category are considered by a panel of judges from throughout the biking & walking movement. A winner is chosen based on the averages of all judges’ scores. In addition to Alliance staff, the members of the 2014 Advocacy Awards judges panel are:


Congratulations to the 2014 Advocacy Award Winners!

imageOn March 3, 2014, the Alliance for Biking & Walking held the sixth annual Alliance Advocacy Awards, presented by Bicycling Magazine.

Since 2009, the Alliance has solicited public nominations for the Advocacy Awards, which recognize the exceptional efforts of individuals, organizations, and business leaders in advancing active transportation in North America. Biking and walking advocacy is often behind-the-scenes work, so every year the Alliance shines a spotlight on advocates who have performed exemplary efforts in the service of better and safer active transportation.

The Alliance received 210 nominations for 2014 Advocacy Awards. Final nominees were selected by Alliance staff, and overall winners for all categories except the People’s Choice Award were chosen by a panel of past Advocacy Award winners, leaders in biking & walking advocacy, and Alliance staff.

This year, we are honored to announce the following winners.

Advocacy Organization of the Year – Bike San Diego

image Under the leadership of executive director Samantha Ollinger, this southern California advocacy organization accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments in 2013.

Thanks in part to Bike San Diego’s electoral work, candidates in the city’s fall mayoral election competed with one another over who was more bike-friendly, three out of four released a bike plan during the race, and the new mayor now regularly touts the importance bicycling for the city. The organization initiated and helped with the launch of the city’s first open streets event, CicloSDias. BikeSD was also instrumental in getting the city to adopt pro-bikeway design guidelines by becoming a member of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). And the metropolis has momentum to put bike friendly improvements in place soon: BikeSD led efforts to approve $200 million in regional funding for urban bike projects along key corridors.

Thanks to BikeSD’s sustained work throughout 2013, San Diego is well on the way to becoming a more bicycle-friendly city.

View all nominees for 2014 Advocacy Organization of the Year here.

Advocate of the Year – Nelle Pierson

image When Bicycling Magazine named her one of 14 innovators working to change the world through biking, Nelle took the opportunity to explain her approach to broadening the base of citizens demanding better biking in the greater Washington, DC area. “We don’t have the resources for corporate marketing,” she said, “so we sell through humans and connect through people power.”

Nelle’s passion for human-to-human connection has informed her exceptional outreach and programming work over four years with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. As WABA’s outreach coordinator and former events coordinator, she has brought huge events from budget to after-party and, most recently, designed and established the highly successful Women & Bicycles program. This new program is transforming the conversation about women and bicycling in the DC region by bringing in new riders and advocates through peer-to-peer networking.

It’s not hard to envision Nelle as the new face of bicycle advocacy: persistent, idealistic, relentlessly organized, and dedicated to resolving inequities in the bicycle movement.

View all nominees for 2014 Advocate of the Year.

Business Advocate of the Year – Kaiser Permanente

image With preventable diseases related to physical inactivity on the rise, it’s a small wonder that companies whose bottom lines depend on minimizing health care spending aren’t pouring resources into boosting everyday exercise.

Kaiser Permanente is a very notable exception. This insurance and health care provider approaches health from a holistic perspective, defining wellbeing as daily experience that reaches beyond the doctor’s office and into neighborhood streets and everyday transportation. Over the course of 2013, Kaiser Permanente invested countless staff time and well over a million dollars to expand walking health outreach and advocacy in the interest of public health. They initiated the innovative Every Body Walk Collaborative, an effort among diverse organizational partners — including America Walks, the Alliance and many state and local walking advocacy organizations — to galvanize the national walking movement.

Kaiser Permanente’s push for better walking in the United States has reached Capitol Hill and local advocacy efforts. Thanks to their support, America Walks convened the first annual National Walking Summit in Washington, DC, and Advocacy Advance — a partnership between the League of American Bicyclists and Alliance for Biking & Walking — added staff and workshops to strengthen local walking advocacy.

View all nominees for Business Advocate of the Year.

Winning Campaign of the Year – Transportation Alternatives for Citi Bike

image Their behind-the-scenes work might not have made major headlines, but Transportation Alternatives’ research, lobbying, and grassroots organizing was integral to the launch of the United States’ largest bike share system. The highly sophisticated New York City advocacy organization worked for years on the successful campaign, which came to fruition in 2013 after a series of false starts and software troubles.

After a bumpy start, Citi Bike has stolen New Yorkers’ hearts. The system’s presence in trendsetting New York has also made bicycling a regular part of the cultural conversation: “bike share blue” was the most popular color on the runway during 2013 Fashion Week, a Citi Bike rack graced a cover of The New Yorker, and the bikes made their small-screen debut in a new Comedy Central show.

Thanks to Transportation Alternatives’ advocacy, other cities have a clear model for bringing bike share to the public transport network and empowering city residents to bike for transportation.

View all nominees for 2014 Winning Campaign of the Year.

Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award – Laura Solis

imageThis award commemorates Alliance co-founder Susie Stephens, honoring her passion for biking and walking as fun and economical means of transportation. This year the award goes to Laura Solis, who brings her enthusiasm for bicycle advocacy to a dizzying array of activities: she currently serves as volunteer outreach coordinator at WE Bike NYC, is an active member of the Transportation Alternatives Bronx Committee, volunteers with Boogie Down Rides, and is the development & community outreach manager at Bike New York.

If it involves bicycles in New York City, Laura is there. Her enthusiasm and kindness have the ability to make cycling new again for experienced riders, and to make it accessible for new riders. Laura has an especially strong passion for spreading bicycling among women from low-income communities and her home borough, the Bronx. When asked about her passion for spreading bicycling, Laura said, “A machine as simple as a bicycle could inspire hope in many that find it difficult to do so for themselves.”

View all nominees for the 2014 Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award.

Bicycling Magazine People’s Choice Award – Bike East Bay for bike access on BART

imageThis award, a new category in 2014, is given to a state or local bike advocacy organization in recognition of exemplary work to improve bicycling. It is only fitting that the winner decided by popular vote on was a campaign to bring better bicycling connectivity to one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country: the San Francisco Bay.

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) began service in 1972 with no provision for access by bicyclists — and, sure enough, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition was founded that same year with the specific goal of gaining bicycle access. Early efforts provided limited successes, but it wasn’t until 2013 that a coalition of Bay Area advocates teamed up to convince BART to authorize pilot programs for full bicycle access. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the newly rechristened Bike East Bay, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and Bikes on Board, these pilots resulted in winter 2013 decision to finally allow bicycles onboard BART at all hours.

Thanks to the successful campaign, Bay Area residents are able to traverse the region with their trusty steeds in tow at all hours.


Congratulations to the 2013 Advocacy Award Winners!

The Alliance announced the winners of the 2013 Advocacy Awards on March 4, 2013.


Congratulations to the 2012 Advocacy Award Winners!

The Alliance announced the winners of the 2012 Advocacy Awards on March 20, 2012.


Congratulations to the 2011 Alliance Advocacy Award Winners

The Alliance announced the winners of the 2011 Advocacy Awards on March 8, 2011.


Congratulations to the Winners of the Alliance’s 2010 Advocacy Awards!

Alliance for Biking & Walking has announced the 2010 winners of our Advocacy Awards.


Congratulations to the Winners of the Alliance’s 2009 Advocacy Awards!

Alliance for Biking and Walking announced the 2009 winners of our Advocacy Awards in March, 2009.


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Upcoming Events

Youth Engagement and Family Biking --Call on April 02

U.S. Federal Transportation Policy Briefing --Call on April 08

Baltimore, MD Winning Campaigns Training
April 11 through April 13, 2014