Bikes Belong Awards $125,000 in REI-Supported Green Lane Project Grants
April 29, 2013
Bikes Belong’s Green Lane Project is awarding $125,000 in grants to five of their focus cities – Austin, Texas, Chicago, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, and Washington, DC. A local non-profit in each city will receive $25,000 to build the case for how green lanes in their community benefit local businesses.
These grants are supported, in part, by REI, the national outdoor gear and apparel retailer. Grant recipients will engage with their local REI stores in developing their projects, including a clear plan for measuring the grants’ success.
The Bikes Belong Grants Program is funded by our Employee Pro Purchase Program. Thanks to the following participating members and their employees for making these awards possible:
Getting Employers to Build the Value Proposition for Cycling (Austin, TX)
Movability Austin will use their grant to conduct research examining how downtown businesses view bicycling as a mode of transportation, their barriers to supporting bicycling, and what factors they care about during design and construction of bicycle facilities. Utilizing the results, the organization will work with a Project Advisory Team made up of local leaders to address business concerns and forge strategies on how to partner with the business community on bicycling issues. Collaboration with their local REI will likely come at the conclusion of the research as they seek to disseminate it and implement its lessons.
Mobilizing and Building a Green Lanes Network in DC (Washington, DC)
Focusing on the city transportation department’s new “We Move DC” campaign to create a multi-modal transportation plan, WABA is expanding outreach to businesses to boost their support for the bicycle network component. The organization has identified real estate professionals, retailers, and commercial drivers, as well as underserved communities, as the constituencies that can most benefit from better bicycling and a concentrated engagement effort. WABA will include REI in retailer-focused events and tours.
Downtown Business Engagement Project (Portland, OR)
As part of a citywide goal to boost bicycling mode share to 25%, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) is working to build strong business support for two new routes: a north/south connection through downtown and bridgehead improvements that will link the new routes to the existing network. BTA will personally connect with business owners to understand and address their concerns and priorities and to share information on how better bicycle facilities can benefit the bottom line. Longtime partner REI will help with communications, events, and meeting space.
Building Business Support for Green Lanes (San Francisco, CA)
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is partnering with contacts at City Hall, in city agencies, and among business leaders to build the case for how bicycling will benefit the many businesses in San Francisco. Engaging at both the grassroots level with businesses located on proposed green lane corridors, and the grasstops level with influential business leaders, this effort will reach a key constituency that will ultimately affect decision makers and the general public as well. SFBC will work with REI to spread the word about green lanes and involve them in outreach events and initiatives.
Bike Friendly Business Program (Chicago, IL)
Grant funds will be used to bolster the newly-launched Bike Friendly Business program which seeks to build support for bicycling and green lanes among businesses and to develop new partnerships with business owners and managers. In addition to displaying their support for bicycling, Active Trans will recruit business champions to take a more visible role by signing and posting petitions, writing letters to the editor, and connecting with other businesses around this issue. The local REI will serve as a model Bike Friendly Business and help with workshops and other business programming.