BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Bikes Belong has announced five REI/Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Grant Awards.
These grants of between $10,000 and $20,000 have been awarded to grassroots groups that are working closely with their city governments to make conditions better for bicycling in aspiring and designated Bicycle Friendly Communities.
Applicants for this invitation-only grant program were asked to present their high-priority bicycling projects within the framework of the BFC program's five Es—Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation—and explain how they'd execute these initiatives if funding were available.
The following groups received REI/BFC Grants and were recognized at the National Bike Summit on March 10. Their priorities are highlighted below. Each grantee will receive technical assistance from the League's Bicycle Friendly America Staff to help develop and implement these initiatives, so they'll be poised to help their cities apply for BFC designation.
BikeDenver is helping its home city, currently a Bronze-level BFC, to reach Silver status. Through participation on the Denver Bike Initiative committees, they'll help the city to implement a bike-share program and improve city infrastructure and policies related to cycling. BikeDenver plans to work with their state group, Bicycle Colorado, to help update the Colorado DMV manuals and tests to include bike-specific information and questions—a key enforcement initiative. They'll also encourage more people to participate in Bike to Work Day through their Bike Pool program, and expand their successful Bike Valet at major events this year.
LivableStreets Alliance—Boston, Massachusetts:
LivableStreets Alliance is working with Mayor Menino's Boston Bikes Program on key initiatives that will help the city establish policies for safe street design and expand infrastructure for bicycling. They are providing technical assistance and facilitating community involvement to help Boston develop its Bicycle Network Plan, and working to ensure improved bicycle access on the many bridges over the Charles River that are about to undergo reconstruction. In the short term, LivableStreets is working to ensure that proposed stimulus funding for bike parking at transit stations will be spent quickly and efficiently on secure, well-designed bike storage solutions. These important goals will further LivableStreet's mission of working systematically to help Boston become a Bicycle Friendly Community.
Bike Pittsburgh—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:
Bike Pittsburgh is tackling education and encouragement through public outreach by developing a local Bicycle Friendly Employers Program and expanding the popular Pittsburgh BikeFest—an annual 10-day event that celebrates cycling in the city—to include a criterium race and ciclovia event. They're also funding the reprint of Pittsburgh's famous bike map this year. The group is forging a strong relationship with Pittsburgh's new bike-ped coordinator, and will serve as a principal advisor on the soon-to-be updated Citywide Bike Plan and cycling investment strategy.
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition—Atlanta, Georgia:
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) is working with the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia's Department of Transportation to enact Complete Streets policies and guide bicycle facility design. They're also helping to increase awareness through Bike Month and Bike to Work Week participation programs. ABC's unique approach to enforcement combines enacting new legislation and partnering with the police department to plan targeted-enforcement "stings" and update crash reporting and investigative techniques. Best practices from their enforcement work will serve as good models for other communities.
San Diego County Bicycle Coalition—San Diego, California:
The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is focusing on education and encouragement to promote bicycling in their city. Through public outreach and awareness as well a new social marketing campaign, modeled after successful programs in Chicago and Portland, they hope to get more people to use the excellent infrastructure that already exists in San Diego—and make the case for more bike facilities that will bridge existing gaps in the network. Evaluation of these measures is a key element of their plan and will help other cities adopt successful strategies to increase ridership.