Peopleforbikes.org campaign gains 220,000 supporters in a year
May 30, 2011
Imagine a place where one bike lane leads to the next. Where trails, bridges and underpasses lead safely to exactly where you want to go. And regardless of your bicycling experience or fitness, you can pedal smoothly across the street, across town or even across the country. Bikes Belong’s Peopleforbikes.org (PFB) campaign is working to make this vision a reality.
The backbone of the PFB campaign is a pledge that can be taken (online or on paper) in support of better bicycling in the U.S. The campaign, which launched at the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey, CA in April 2010, has already generated more than 220,000 pledges within the first year and created a group with exceptional clout and potential. The movement is striking a chord with Americans who see bicycling as a fun way to improve health, reduce road congestion and pollution, and save money.
The campaign aims to show government leaders that Americans everywhere support cost-effective legislation that improves bike paths, lanes, trails, and other facilities from coast to coast.
This message is especially important as Congress considers the renewal of the federal transportation bill — the largest single source for bicycling funding, which has invested more than $4 billion in bike projects and programs since 2004. Renewal of the bill is now being deliberated, and will possibly come sometime this year.
Peopleforbikes.org’s first opportunity to influence elected officials came in January as the House of Representatives considered cuts for the 2011 budget. PFB asked pledge signers to send a short message to their Representatives in support of bicycling, using the tools found on the PFB website. In the first 24 hours, more than 12,000 personal emails were sent. In just over a week, the number grew to 20,000, and some U.S. Representatives received more than 500 letters each.
“Twelve thousand letters to Congress in a single day must be a record for U.S. bike advocacy,” said Tim Blumenthal, president of Bikes Belong. “It proves the power and potential of our movement.
Peopleforbikes.org will continue to activate our pledge base to show leaders that Americans care about bicycling. The campaign will also continue to celebrate the spirit of bicycling by publishing personal testimonials and stories.
The Peopleforbikes.org campaign has big plans for 2011.
The primary goal is to surpass 500,000 pledges by the end of the year. This will be made possible in part by a new supporter to the campaign: Humana, Inc — the Fortune 50 health insurance company. Humana joins SRAM as a premier PFB sponsor.
One of the most exciting PFB initiatives this year is focused on the wide audience of people shopping for bikes and bike accessories. Starting in May (National Bike Month) and running through September, 1,500 bicycle retailers nationwide will begin collecting pledges at their store counters.
“The retailer program is a great example of how this movement is unifying support for bicycling,” said Blumenthal. “We have Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, Performance and other dealers all on the same page recognizing that PFB will ultimately benefit them all by getting more people riding bikes and making bicycling safer.”
PFB will also get big traction this summer by hitting the road for bicycling events and other festivals. A tent and larger-than- life stage comprise the booth space. Peopleforbikes.org will attend more than 20 major events where the campaign will have the opportunity to interact with nearly 2 million people.