Building The People Powered Movement

The United States has long been known for its car-centric transport infrastructure rather than its affection for cycling and walking. Thankfully, this model is beginning to change. According to the Alliance for Biking and Walking, “more and more North Americans want to live, work and play in neighbourhoods where it’s easy and safe to walk and bike.”

Formed following a grassroots meeting between bicycle advocacy leaders in 1996, the Alliance has grown into a coalition of over two hundred groups throughout the country. Their aim is to create a more friendly urban landscape by giving advocates the tools to win campaigns – and in doing so, “transform their communities into great places to bike and walk.”

Alliance for biking and walking

The Alliance For Biking And Walking aims to create, strengthen and unite state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations throughout North America. Photo credit: Alliance For Biking and Walking

Focusing on skill-sharing and mutual support, the Alliance holds retreats and training sessions, and also influences policy makers at state and local level. For example, it co-runs the Open Streets Projects, the initiative that shares best practices between cities that wish to temporarily close their centres to motorised traffic. We’ve already seen the success this project has had in Latin America.

Alliance for biking and walking

People of all ages are choosing to use the bike rather than the car to travel around the cities. Photo credit: Alliance for biking and walking

Alliance for biking and walking

Many American cities are now making sure they are building appropriate infrastructure to make sure they are biking and walking friendly. Photo credit: Alliance for biking and walking

Partnering with the League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance works with state and local advocates to decipher grants and maximise public funding, leveraging over $130,000,000 for biking and walking improvements around the nation.

The organisation also hosts the Bike Collectives Network, a Wiki Think Tank of community bike shops and cooperatives, helping those involved in non-profit bicycle projects engage with each other.

Alliance for biking and walking

From 2000 – 2012 bicycle commuting in the US increased by 61%. Photo credit: Barry Lewis

Furthermore, it has created benchmark reports for public officials, advocates, decision-makers and researchers – like the recently published Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business, in conjunction with PeopleForBikes.

Visit their site for all the latest information on walking and bicycling campaigns, and awards across the country, as well as access to a resource library crammed with documents, guides and photos.