PeopleForBikes, the national bike advocacy coalition, launched PlacesForBikes, an initiative to improve biking in American cities and towns.
The new program will jumpstart the construction of bike-friendly infrastructure, as it helps develop, connect, and promote great places to ride. The initiative includes a data-driven, easy-to-understand city rating system, expert “how-to” resources for communities and businesses and an annual conference for city and business leaders. The program benefits from major support by founding sponsor Trek Bikes.
“The biggest reason that people don’t ride bikes more is that they don’t have safe and convenient places to ride,” said Tim Blumenthal, president, PeopleForBikes. “Our goal is to help cities build better places to ride bikes, and build them faster.”
PlacesForBikes will begin compiling data for a comprehensive U.S. city rating system in February. The ratings will be informed by surveys from residents, retailers, community leaders and city officials on the ground in American towns and cities. These surveys will go live on February 14.
The rating system will combine this community input with publicly available data and a new measure of bike networks to recognize cities and towns that are creating safer places to ride — and motivate those that are just getting started.
“Cities are the leaders now in building bike infrastructure,” said Blumenthal. “From small towns to mid-sized and large cities, there is new energy and motivation to create better places for bikes.”
PlacesForBikes will hold its inaugural conference June 28-30 in Madison, WI. Delegations of local leaders and bike retailers will meet peers from across the nation, learn time-tested effective strategies and return home to develop action plans for their communities. Early bird registration is now open at PlacesForBikesConference.org.
PlacesForBikes —and the affiliated Big Jump Project, an effort to help 10 U.S. cities build complete bike networks —evolved out of the Green Lane Project. Between 2006 and 2012, this PeopleForBikes initiative focused on building protected bike lanes in American communities. The program helped produce a quadrupling of projects in four years. Today, more than 300 U.S. protected bike lanes are in place and in use.
PlacesForBikes, like the Green Lane Project, will focus on infrastructure to grow and improve bicycling.
Photo courtesy PeopleForBikes