Did You Know?

Only 24 percent of jobs in the region are accessible by transit in 90 minutes or less by a typical resident — and that number drops to 12 percent in the suburbs.

Bike Walk Every Town

What is Bike Walk Every Town?

Walkable communities, high quality bike lanes and easy-to-use public transportation: These are not pipe dreams, but attainable goals that will make our region cleaner, healthier and more livable.

Join Bike Walk Every Town, the Active Transportation Alliance’s new suburban advocacy program. The program will help you develop the skills and access the resources needed to strengthen biking and walking in your community.

See below to learn how to get involved (through our online training, webinars, meet-ups, and creating an action plan) and check out our advocacy resources for tips, tools, case studies, and more.

Why participate? 

Participating in Bike Walk Every Town will give you:

  • Skills building training – hone your skills and become a savvy advocate
  • Issue based education – learn the nuts and bolts of biking, walking and transit infrastructure and policy issues
  • Local advocate network – meet other advocates in your area and start building your local movement
  • Professional coaching – get hands on support from Active Trans expert advocacy staff to help you bring change to your town

How to get involved

>> Watch our online advocacy training video to get started building a campaign 

Bike Walk Every Town kicked-off with four in-person advocacy summits in 2017 and one online summit which gathered over 100 advocates from 63 cities and villages from across the region. This training video (40 minutes) was recorded as part of the online summit to give you the same tools to build a campaign to improve biking and walking in your community.

>> Participate in the webinar series

Our bi-monthly webinar series is designed to help advocates dig deeper into bicycle and pedestrian policy ideas and introduce tips and tools for outreach and campaign building. The program will include guest speakers and experts from around the region. Topics and registration links will be updated below on an ongoing basis:

Upcoming Webinars
Walk Bike Education Bill – Advocating your school district – TBD

Webinar Recordings
Election Advocacy Strategies (youtube)
Communication Strategies & Messaging (youtube)
Outreach Strategies & Petition Writing  (youtube)
How to Organize a Pop-up Event (youtube)
Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Council (BPAC) panel discussion (youtube)
Event Organizing Ideas & Tips (youtube)
Bikeway Design 101 (youtube)
Advocating for a Fair Share of State Funding for Biking, Walking and Transit  (youtube)

>> Commit to carrying out your campaign 

Bike Walk Every Town is open to anyone interested in developing a campaign to improve biking and walking in their community. Here’s how you can get started:

    • Get in Touch: Contact Maggie Melin at and we will connect you to resources and other advocates in your area.
    • Assess Your Community: Fill out the Policy Assessment Worksheet to assess the walking and biking friendliness of your community. Check out our regional Policy/Plan Tracker to help you get started on the worksheet.
    • Make a Plan: After you have a handle on what is happening in your community, fill out the six-step Campaign Action Planning Worksheet.
    • Get Started: Get started implementing your plan!

For those interested, Active Trans will send you a Bike Walk Every Town logo (customized for your community) which you are welcome to use as part of your campaign.

>> Connect with other local advocates

Join one of our our regional Google Group email lists to exchange ideas and share resources, and attend one of our regional meet-ups to connect with other advocates in-person. Email for more information.

Recent regional meet-ups included a Bike Walk Advocate Conference Call during the summer and our 2018 spring Bike Walk Socials in Itasca, Flossmoor, Glen Ellyn and Wilmette.

>> Bike Walk Every Town Mini-Grant 

Thank you to every one who submitted their application to our mini-grant program. Winners for this first round of grants included the communities of Batavia, Elgin, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn/Lombard, Oak Park, Robbins and Villa Park. Watch our blog for updates about the award winners later this fall.


Campaign Building Worksheets

Policy Assessment Worksheet (pdf)

Policy Assessment FAQ (pdf)

Sample Request Letter (doc, pdf)

Campaign Action Planning Worksheet (pdf)

Bike Walk Every Town Training Video (youtube)

Policy Platforms

Bike Walk Every Town Local Policy Platform (pdf)

Bike Walk Every Town State & Regional Policy Platform (pdf)

Bike Walk Every Town Model Resolution (pdf)

Regional Trackers

Policy/Plan Tracker (Google Doc) – update this spreadsheet with information about your community

Project Tracker (coming soon)


Suburban Policy Petition (pdf)

State Bike Walk Fund Petition (pdf)

State Bike Walk Fund Petition (online link)

Campaign Building Tip Sheets

Building a Base of Supporters (pdf)

Outreach and Communications (pdf)

Engaging Decisions Makers (pdf)

How to Write a Petition (pdf)

How to Develop an Elevator Pitch (pdf)

Meeting with Elected Officials

Tips for Meeting with Elected Officials (pdf)

Talking Points for Meetings with Electing Officials (pdf)

Suburban Election Advocacy

Election Advocacy Best Practices (pdf)

Suburban Election Advocacy Platform (pdf)

Local Suburban Candidate Questionnaire (pdf)

2018 State Sustainable Transportation Platform

Event Organizing

Event Planning Check List (pdf)

Bike Rodeo Station Ideas (pdf)

Organizing Bike Rides for Kids and Families (pdf)

Case Studies

Complete Streets Policies (pdf)

Active Transportation Plans (pdf)

Funding for Bicycle/Pedetrian Projects (pdf)

Project Prioritization and Implementation (pdf)

Bicycle and Pedestrians Advisory Councils (BPAC) (pdf)

Existing Suburban Advocacy Groups & Bike Clubs

North Suburbs

West Suburbs

South Suburbs

Additional Resources

How can Active Trans help your community? (pdf)

Resource Bank (pdf)

Trail Connect Chicagoland Campaign (pdf)

Suburban Bikeways for All Report

In the News

Group advocates for safer bicycle, pedestrian transportation routes (Daily Southtown)

Training Program Helps Suburban Residents Push for Biking, Walking Paths (CBS Chicago)

Stories from the Suburbs

Oak Park advocates stay connected with local officials

Bartlett advocate petitions for trail connection

Teaching safe cycling a passion for Active Trans board member from Chicago Heights

Advocates inspire bicycling in Elk Grove Village

Bike rodeo tips from the expert

Suburban superstars: not taking ‘no’ for an answer

Suburban superstars: a tale of two walking advocates (part 2)

Suburban superstars: a tale of two walking advocates (part 1)

An advocate’s lesson in making a difference

31 days of car-free suburban life

Brookfield’s first bicycle boulevard is here

Kids on the move in Highland Park

Mobilizing suburban advocates

Better trail connections in DuPage County

More protected bike lanes coming to Evanston

1st grade transportation advocate of Summit


This publication was supported by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number, 5 U48 DP 005010, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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