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Advocacy Advance Awards $30K in Big Ideas
Last month Advocacy Advance held an open call for applications from bicycling and walking advocacy organizations for innovative campaigns to address the most pressing issues in bicycling and walking advocacy investments. Today, we’re excited to announce the three campaigns receiving our “Big Idea” Grants.
If successful, these three campaigns will address the urgent need for biking and walking investment at the local level. These advocacy campaigns will take place at a time when walking and bicycling projects prove immensely popular at the local level, even as Congress’ commitment to active transportation fails to keep pace with growing preferences to walk and bike for everyday transportation. 11.5% of all trips are taken by bicycle or on foot, 14.9% of roadway fatalities are pedestrians and bicyclists, but only 2.1% of federal funding goes to bicycling and walking projects. The average American has driven fewer miles each year since 2004, and Americans take 112 million walking trips and 11 million bicycle trips in the United States every day.
Advocacy Advance’s “Big Idea” grants are intended to help seize unforeseen opportunities, support short-term campaigns, or push campaigns into the end zone to win funding for biking and walking infrastructure and programs. These grants are modeled after the program’s “Rapid Response” grants, which have helped state and local advocates win over $120 million for biking and walking in local, state, and federal funding – a return on investment of $1,700 won for every $1 granted.
Together, the three recipients of “Big Idea” grants will advance bicycling and walking in their regions in the areas of safety, equity, and innovative state and local campaigns. The three campaigns are:
Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, in collaboration with other community development and environmental organizations, will work on the Better Mobility Philadelphia campaign to elevate Vision Zero and safer mobility as a campaign issue for the 2015 election in the City of Philadelphia. The campaign will seek commitment from mayoral candidates to increase funding and to create a dedicated funding source for the transportation infrastructure and programs needed to implement Vision Zero.
Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and Oregon Walks will leverage a strong partnership to build a broad coalition demanding a Vision Zero approach to transportation planning, policy, and funding to all levels of Oregon government. Both organizations will advocate for a progressive, equitable structure to a proposed local fee package to provide crucial funding for priority safety projects. This campaign will also build a regional coalition based on shared goals for injury prevention, safety, and livability. BTA and Oregon Walks will conduct advocacy trainings to empower citizens to work directly on neighborhood safety and to be engaged in the Vision Zero stakeholder engagement process.
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will work with five cities in southeastern Los Angeles County to develop a model for inclusive and equitable active transportation planning processes. The five cities have high numbers of people biking, walking and taking transit, but without appropriate infrastructure to do so safely. This campaign will boost communities’ capacity to compete for funding from California’s Active Transportation Program (ATP), therefore unlocking future revenue measures for people who bike and walk for the next few decades.
Congratulations to the “Big Idea” Grantees: Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Oregon Walks, and Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition!
“The ‘Big Idea’ grantees will be working on campaigns that can serve as a model for other for biking and walking advocates across the country,” said Darren Flusche, Policy Director at the Advocacy Advance partnership. “Advocates are looking for ways to not only secure commitments from their departments of transportation and elected officials – but also to ensure that proper funding commitments are in place to make Vision Zero a reality.”
“We are excited to highlight model campaigns that advocates can mimic to ensure inclusive planning processes in their own communities,” said Brighid O’Keane, Advocacy Director at the Advocacy Advance partnership. “Low-income communities and communities of color are often left out of transportation funding decisions. All three ‘Big Idea’ grantees will spearhead inclusive processes to ensure that all people who bike and walk are represented.”
Over the past three years, Advocacy Advance has awarded grants that have supported campaigns that have won over $120 million in public investments for active transportation projects. Click here to learn more about Advocacy Advance’s grant program.