There’s a big problem with bicycling. Yep, it’s money. Though anywhere between 1-15% of all trips in US cities and towns are taken by riding a bike (and even more for walking) far less than that amount in national and local transportation budgets are allocated to supporting bicycle infrastructure, education or encouragement. For too long bicycles have been considered recreation or sport toys. Non-profits and co-ops have struggled to find funding to work on important issues while local DOT’s struggle to find funding to implement on street bike lanes and other projects.
However, the big missing piece is culture. That means creating experiences. We need educated passionate people to encourage and inspire others to use those new bike lanes, demand political support for active transportation. We need to be able to be able to pay people to do the ground work, without having to abandon their projects, internships and passions simply because there isn’t any money in this kind of work. Without funding for these efforts the bike community is in a constant brain drain.
We aim to be a beacon for attracting funding to support our projects and to make our resource library available. How great would it be to hand over a lesson plan to community organizers all over the United States along with some money for their work with a mandate to report back on the attendance and outcomes?