Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report
The Benchmarking Project is an on-going effort of the Alliance for Biking & Walking to collect and analyze data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states and the 51 largest U.S. cities. This third biennial report reveals data on bicycling and walking levels and demographics; bicycle and pedestrian safety; funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects; written policies on bicycling and walking; bicycle infrastructure; bike-transit integration; bicycling and walking education and encouragement; public health indicators; and the economic impact of bicycling and walking. This report is an essential resource and tool for government officials, advocates, and those working to promote bicycling and walking, including data tables and graphs that show how your state or city stacks up and providing unprecedented statistics to help support your case for increasing safe bicycling and walking in your community. (January 2012, 242 pages)
America Bikes is a coalition of bicycle community leaders advocating for positive outcomes for biking and walking under the federal transportation bill.
America Walks leads a national coalition of local advocacy groups dedicated to promoting walkable communities. They engage, educate and connect walking advocates to promote safe, convenient and accessible walking conditions for all.
Alliance Sponsorship Opportunities
The Alliance for Biking & Walking is the North American coalition of more than 200 bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Alliance organizations represent more than 150,000 dues-paying members and interact with countless more residents in their communities. With the assistance of the Alliance and its network of leaders and experts, advocates have the tools to transform their communities into great places to bike and walk.
Why sponsor the Alliance? Because…
Your sponsorship is the catalyst for change across North America and gives your company repeated exposure in dozens of major markets. Your support builds brand loyalty among countless advocates and the hundreds of thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians they represent from coast to coast. Download our Sponsorship Invitation and select a level that fits your budget and meets your marketing needs.
The Alliance plays a powerful and important role in supporting organizations on the ground that work for safety, accessibility, and expansion of walking and cycling. Their positive energy motivates, not only our company, but also the many travelers who ride and walk with us.
- Gregg Marston, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations
We support the Alliance because they are capacity builders. They nurture, network and coach their member organizations to ever-higher levels of effectiveness.
- Jay Ferm, Planet Bike
The Alliance does a remarkable job bringing cohesion to the nonprofit world of sustainable transportation. Their vision focuses the energy and passion of groups around the country, strengthening individual effort by creating a collective whole.
- Jenn Orgolini, Sustainability Director, New Belgium Brewing Company
Because the vast majority of Americans want their communities to be more walkable and bike friendly, CLIF BAR proudly supports the grassroots work of the Alliance. Aligning with our own values, the Alliance promote more vibrant communities, a cleaner environment and healthier, more active people.
- Elysa Hammond, Director of Environmental Stewardship, Clif Bar
Members Home Page
The Alliance for Biking & Walking has over 220 member organizations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. We provide the following services to our members:
Our Online Resource Library provides over 1000 resources to Alliance members. Resources include template bylaws, workplans, budgets, and fundraising letters. You'll also find sample PSAs, annual reports, membership brochures, and a wealth of research on biking and walking issues. Search by keyword or category to find what you need.
We host between four and six Winning Campaigns trainings a year and a biannual Leadership Retreat in different North American cities. Our trainings are geared specifically for leaders of biking and walking advocacy organizations and are great opportunities for networking and resource sharing.
Our Mutual Aid series brings over 20 free educational conference calls a year to advocacy leaders. Call topics include capacity building for bike/ped advocacy organizations and topics of specific interest to biking and walking groups. Calls are facilitated by an Alliance staff member, last one hour, and typically draw between 10 and 30 Alliance leaders.
Alliance members have access to on-call coaching and consulting services from qualified Alliance staff. Need help with a campaign? Want advice on growing your organization's membership? Need help navigating a tricky board situation? Contact our staff for assistance. Special consulting services such as strategic planning and meeting facilitation are also available to members at special rates.
The Alliance Benchmarking Project collects, analyzes, and reports on bicycling and walking data for the 50 U.S. states and at least the 50 most-populous U.S. cities. The project provides vital data for advocates, planners, and researchers to evaluate progress and measure results of efforts to increase biking and walking.
Alliance members can post their job opportunities for free on the Alliance Job Board. We highlight our job board in our monthly e-newsletter, Streetside.
Alliance publications are geared towards helping grassroots bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations thrive. Alliance members receive discounts on all Alliance publications.
Advocacy Advance Grants are available to Alliance member organizations through a competitive application process twice a year. Grants fund start-up organizations, capacity building, and innovative programs to increase biking and walking.
Alliance members are kept plugged into national issues affecting bicycling and walking through our Action Center. From federal legislation like the Transportation Bill and Economic Stimulus Bill to Safe Routes to School, the Alliance plugs grassroots advocates into the national issues that matter most to them.
Alliance members receive discounts on the following
Contact an Alliance staff member for more details on these discounts.
And be sure to check out our upcoming events, recent member news, and latest job postings below:
The Alliance for Biking and Walking, formerly known as Thunderhead Alliance, is the coalition of grassroots advocacy organizations working together to promote bicycling and walking in North American communities. Alliance organizations come together to help each other grow their organizations and become more effective by sharing best practices and innovations.
Welcome to the Bike & Ped Advocacy Resource Library!
Here you will find the latest resources for bicycle and pedestrian advocates. There are over 500 resources in this library including sample documents and publications from Alliance member organizations, research and data on bicycling and walking issues, educational resources, public service announcements, models for organizing successful events, and more.
Feel free to browse the categories for resources of interest, or enter key words into the search tool to find exactly what you need. Many of the topics have been discussed on past Mutual Aid Calls, archived in their own section. If you cannot find what you're looking for, submit a request for a resource by emailing info@PeoplePoweredMovement.org. You can also submit resources you would like to share with other bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders.
Most of these documents and resources are password protected for the benefit of our member organizations and supporters. If you would like your advocacy organization to become an Alliance member, or if you would like to become one of our valued supporters, please...
Infographic: Why Biking To Work is Great For Your Health
It’s National Bike To Work Week, and many communities will celebrate Bike To Work Day tomorrow. Spring is the best time of year to dust off that bicycle and start riding!
In case you need a few reasons to hop on the saddle, here’s an infographic showing the health benefits of riding a bike to work.
Would you bike more if streets in your neighborhood were safer for cycling? Make a difference by supporting the movement for better, safer bicycling.
Bike Walk Mississippi Puts on State’s First Open Streets in Jackson
How do you turn people who walk and bike into advocates for safer streets when they don’t identify as walkers and cyclists?
This is a question that leaders of Bike Walk Mississippi — and advocates across the country — constantly ask themselves.
While many advocacy groups are already filled with devout members happy to preach the gospel of active transportation, Melody Moody — Bike Walk Mississippi’s Executive Director — was looking for a way to engage new members of the Jackson community and get them excited about biking and walking. A little over a year ago, the organization decided they wanted to host Mississippi’s first Open Streets as a way to engage with their partners and citizens in a fun and unique way. With a small grant secured from Bikes Belong, the organization was on its way. After months of planning, Jackson Streets Alive was held on April 27.
The streets between the state’s Capital and Governor’s House were filled with people of different ages, races and backgrounds enjoying streets temporarily free of automobile traffic.
“We were able to attract a very diverse crowd of people to Jackson Streets Alive, groups that aren’t always on the same page,” said Melody, “which could have proved more difficult in the week before a heated mayoral race in Jackson.”
With a small budget, Melody knew the best way to bring the idea to life was to partner with local businesses and organizations, as well as the City of Jackson, to make the initiative a success. She reached out to zumba, yoga, dance and and other fitness studios to hold free classes during Streets Alive, and in the process developed relationships that will help Bike Walk Mississippi going forward. Bike Walk Mississippi also worked with a local coffee shop to put 7,000 promotional stickers on all of their cups at 4 different stores around Jackson for two weeks leading up to the festival.
“We felt this was one of the ways we were able to get the word out to a crowd that wouldn’t necessarily have heard of the event through our social media or printed poster and postcard efforts,” said Melody.
The list of partners extended to local sports teams, the state tennis association and a regional foundation. The City of Jackson generously stepped up to cover the cost of police and barricades for the event, which kept Streets Alive under budget. In order to give the initiative a local feel, Bike Walk Mississippi brought in local bands and musicians to play throughout the day.
“We didn’t amplify the bands much because we wanted them to have street performance feel,” said Melody. “In the future, we hope to expand our music even more and have them spread throughout the route organically.” Many of the bands and supporting activities were held in a park adjacent to the route, leaving plenty of space in the streets for people who were biking and walking.
All the hard work paid off on April 27. Despite a city that is notoriously cautious about new events, plenty of folks showed up for Streets Alive.
“People were drawn to the uniqueness of the event and that people, especially kids, could participate in the event and not just watch and listen,” Melody said.
What’s next for Bike Walk Mississippi? Melody is already thinking about the next Open Streets, not just in Jackson but across the state.
“We loved having Streets Alive downtown, and look forward to holding it in other neighborhoods or near the Museum to Market Trail that is set to break ground later this year so people can both play in the streets and explore Jackson’s first multi-use trail,” she said. “Jackson Streets Alive was able to introduce the concept of Open Streets to Mississippians as a unique way to promote active transportation and something that local communities can work on together with Bike Walk Mississippi to replicable in other parts of the state. People are already asking when they can do it again in Jackson and when can they bring it to their own cities.”
Looking to learn how to open the streets in your community to people? Head over to the Open Streets Project to learn more.
Victory in Idaho Speaks to Power of Grassroots
Biking and walking just saw a major win in Idaho.
Under the new transportation bill (MAP-21), some funding for local walking and biking improvements under the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) became optional for states, creating a big opportunity — and challenge.
If the higher-ups in state transportation agencies decided to preserve TAP funds, small towns and cities would get the chance to access valuable dollars to make neighborhoods safer for kids and adults walking and biking. If state officials decided to nix the funds, the tiny pool of dollars that would build sidewalks, crosswalks and bikeways in small towns could be redirected to large highway projects.
In Idaho, advocates had just a few months to convince the seven representatives serving on the Board of Directors at the Idaho Transportation Department that biking and walking funds are vitally important. When we last checked in with Cynthia in January, advocates were in the midst of a campaign to preserve funds from the Transportation Alternatives Program. Using funding from an Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grant, advocates were traveling all over the state to build support at the grassroots level — but the transportation board was dragging its feet on a final decision. Even as Cynthia continued their hard work, advocates were unsure just how successful their campaign would be.
Now, four months later, Cynthia Gibson, Executive Director of the Idaho Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance, is thrilled to declare victory. Idaho’s higher-ups voted to preserve Transportation Alternatives funds for local biking and walking projects.
Organizing grassroots, contacting legislators
So how did they do it? Working closely with her board — including board president Molly O Reilly — and with partners throughout the state, Cynthia executed a well-designed campaign to mobilize grassroots leaders to convince the Idaho Transportation Board to fully fund biking and walking.
“We knew the Board members would listen to their constituents and legislators,” Cynthia said, “so we traveled out to communities who previously received biking and walking funds and understood how these dollars had bettered their community.”
Cynthia’s targeted travels brought her to small cities and towns all over the state — check out this map to see where the campaign brought her.
In each community, Cynthia found the engaged citizens who had seen how active transportation improvements can bring a main street back to life or make a neighborhood safer for students walking to school.
“We were talking to mayors and local community groups,” Cynthia said. “They understood how biking and walking had bettered their communities, so we asked them to voice their concerns to their representative.”
These local champions wrote the transportation board to let them know about the importance of active transportation funds.
At the same time, Idaho Pedestrian and Bicycle Association worked to discuss the issue with state legislators. Cynthia spent time meeting with lawmakers, and also collaborated with state partners to increase influence.
“We partnered with the Conservation Voters of Idaho, who had state legislative connections,” said Cynthia. “So we were out talking to legislators, who were receiving phone calls and letters from mayors and community groups.”
Over time, the group’s efforts began to have a noticeable effect.
“Gradually, it seemed like board members’ attitudes were changing,” Cynthia recalled. “Some of the board members who were staunch opponents started talking differently.”
“When we started this, they were saying ‘biking and sidewalks? There’s no money for that, we don’t have the funds,’” said Cynthia. “That’s not what they were saying five months later. Now they were concerned with money coming in to local communities. They picked up information and saw things differently.”
Ultimately, after months of hard work, the board voted to preserve Transportation Alternative Program funds. The board’s decision was a thrilling conclusion to a campaign that gradually picked up steam.
“It’s a movement,” Cynthia said. “It’s just picking up momentum. The legislators are hearing about us and the discussions are happening more often.”
Cynthia had plenty of suggestions for advocates in other areas of the country. Idaho’s campaign victory is a testament to the value of face-to-face meetings and building grassroots support.
“You can never give up on grassroots,” said Cynthia. “It’s all about reaching out to the communities. If you can educate people out in the communities whose lives will be touched, they will contact their representative. And once this gains some steam as calls and letters multiply, it can be really powerful.”
Strategic partnerships were essential, too.
“We’re trying to partner with people who can help us and who we can also help,” she explained. “Through our partnership with the Conservation Voters of Idaho, we were able to make a lot of legislative connections.”
Another lesson: be persistent.
“It’s time consuming and sometimes not a lot of fun, but you have to keep chipping away at it,” Cynthia said. “Be persistent and just don’t give up.”
“When all this kept going on and on and on, I just hung in there,” she recalled. “I’d get frustrated, and [Idaho Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance board president] Molly said, ‘just keep going.’ I kept attending meetings and we kept pushing.”
Animation: How to Check Your Bike Before You Ride
Riding a bike is a great way to get around, but nothing can ruin your trip like a breakdown.
Bicycle advocates and educators have long taught the “ABC Quick Check,” a simple five-step checklist that riders can use to test all the most essential parts of their bike before hitting the road. Now, educators can point to a great new animation to help people learn how to check their bikes.
The video was made by the Active Transportation Alliance of Chicago, IL. Paul Halupka, Active Trans’ graphic designer, was excited about the opportunity to direct the video.
“Every so often, I have the opportunity to work with non-traditional design interns,” Paul said by email. “This spring, I had the opportunity to art-direct an animation student! The product of our collaboration is the ABC Quick Check video.”
“We’re very proud of our work on this piece,” Paul continued. “While I’m particularly happy with the quality of the work from our talented animator, I’m also excited about this video’s true potential: educating TONS of people about how to get rolling safely.”
Well done, Active Trans! If you like this video, consider passing it on to folks who could use a refresher on how to get that bike rolling this spring.
Pedestrian safety: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners (WHO)
This guide, developed by the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, informs the reader of the magnitude of pedestrian death and injury; key risk factors; how to assess the pedestrian safety situation in a country or area and prepare an action plan; and how to select, design, implement and evaluate effective interventions.
Pedestrian Safety Manual (PDF)(5.4 MB)
For more, visit our Video, Audio, and Image category.
Winning Campaigns Training: White Plains, New York
August 02 through August 04, 2013
Winning Campaigns Training: Helena, Montana
September 13 through September 15, 2013
05/13/2013 - Victory in Idaho Speaks to Power of Grassroots
05/10/2013 - Animation: How to Check Your Bike Before You Ride