Baltimore, Maryland. Image: Elvert Barnes.
PeopleForBikes is helping 10 cities radically reimagine their bicycling infrastructure, propelling communities nationwide into a better future for biking. The new initiative, called the Big Jump Project, aims to double or triple bike ridership in specific neighborhoods over the course of just three years?proving that when cities make smart changes, more people ride bikes, and communities become better places to live, work and play.
Ten communities, ranging from major metropolises to mid-size cities, will participate in the three-year initiative: New York City; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; Memphis; Austin, Texas; Providence, R.I.; New Orleans; Fort Collins, Colo.; Baltimore; and Tucson, Ariz.
Over the course of the next three years, these cities will be laboratories for innovation, ultimately illustrating the ways in which U.S. cities and towns can tap into bicycles to improve the health and vitality of their communities. Each city will annually receive the equivalent of $200,000 in in technical support from PeopleForBikes to support the development of bike infrastructure and programs that encourage biking in a given neighborhood; an additional $50,000 in local matching funds from the city, community partner, or local foundations each year will also be contributed to the program.
The winning cities were selected from a pool of 80 applications. PeopleForBikes Director of Local Innovation Kyle Wagenschutz said the volume of applications speaks to the growing interest in communities of all sizes to capitalize on the potential that bicycles have to improve cities.
“From encouraging physical activity to helping with congestion, from better connecting people to work training and education to bolstering economic development, bikes are a rather inexpensive way to improve communities,” said PeopleForBikes Director of Local Innovation Kyle Wagenschutz. “Communities are not looking at bikes as a catalyst for change on their own, but rather as an important part of the momentum happening to change cities for the better.”
The winning cities all demonstrated ongoing commitments to improving transportation, housing, and redevelopment, with both leaders and residents at large mobilized toward change. With the Big Jump Project, PeopleForBikes hopes to accelerate those changes through technical assistance, leadership development, and a network of peer cities and leaders.
“We want to expand the horizons for people who are doing this work in their communities.” said Wagenschutz. “By connecting people across cities doing some of the most innovative work in the U.S., we can foster an environment of collaboration yielding big results.”
The Big Jump Project fits under the umbrella of a PeopleForBikes initiative called PlacesForBikes, which also launched this month. PlacesForBikes 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.
Both the Big Jump Project and PlacesForBikes build on the success of PeopleForBike’s Green Lane Project. This PeopleForBikes initiative focused on building protected bike lanes in communities nationwide. The program helped produce a quadrupling of projects in four years.