Did You Know?
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.
Sign-up to Learn More
If you’d like to improve walking and biking conditions in your community and learn how the Bike Walk Every Town program can help, please fill out this form and we will be in touch.
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 in 2017 with four in-person advocacy summits 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 webinars are 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:
- Join our next Suburban Advocacy Call on Friday, December 11, 2020 from noon to 1pm. The call is a chance to connect with other suburban advocates and hear walking, biking, and transit news and updates from Active Trans, Ride Illinois, and those joining the call.
- Stay tuned for more details about our Virtual Suburban Advocacy Week which will take place in early 2021.
Webinar Recordings on YouTube
- Election Advocacy Strategies
- Communication Strategies & Messaging
- Outreach Strategies & Petition Writing
- How to Organize a Pop-up Event
- Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Council (BPAC) panel discussion
- Event Organizing Ideas & Tips
- Bikeway Design 101
- Advocating for a Fair Share of State Funding for Biking, Walking and Transit
- Advocating for the Bike Walk Education in Schools Act
- Collaborating with IDOT
- Trail Advocacy: Filling the gaps in our regional trail network
- Complete Streets 101
- Tips on Finding Funding & Grant Writing
- Complete Streets & Zoning
- Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) 2020 Funding Webinar Series
>> 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 Maggie@activetrans.org 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 or conference calls to connect with other advocates in-person. Email Maggie@activetrans.org for more information.
>> Bike Walk Every Town Mini-Stipend
When funding allows, we offer a mini-stipend opportunity to help support local suburban advocacy work in the Chicagoland region that advances the Bike Walk Every Town policy platform. This funding opportunity awards multiple grants of $250-$500 dollars each.
2019 mini-stipend winners included the communities of Aurora, Brookfield, Elgin, Glen Ellyn/Lombard, and Oak Park. The 2018 winners included Batavia, Elgin, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn/Lombard, Oak Park, Robbins and Villa Park.
Campaign Building Worksheets
Policy Assessment FAQ (pdf)
Bike Walk Every Town Training Video (youtube)
Policy/Plan Tracker (Google Doc) – update this spreadsheet with information about your community
Project Tracker (Google Doc) – Chicagoland walking, biking and road projects, local petitions, and funding opportunities
Bike Walk Education School Liaison sign-up (Google Doc) – help your local school district adopt the new law
How to Write a Petition (pdf)
Suburban Policy Petition (pdf)
Campaign Building Tip Sheets
Suburban Election Advocacy
Bike Rodeo Station Ideas (pdf)
Existing Suburban Advocacy Groups & Bike Clubs
Resource Bank (pdf)
In the News
Group advocates for safer bicycle, pedestrian transportation routes (Daily Southtown)
Stories from the Suburbs
Make a Donation
Your tax-deductible donation supports the important work that Active Trans does throughout the region