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New Report: Winning Bike-Ped Ballot Measures

This blog, written by Brighid O’Keane, is cross-posted from the Advocacy Advance site. Read it in full here.

Ballot measures have become an integral part of transportation finance, particularly to provide a local match for federal dollars.

Bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations around the countries are looking towards ballot measures in improving transportation choices and investments. With a 79 percent victory rate in 2012, voters are telling their governments that transportation matters – and they’re willing to pay for it.

Advocacy Advance’s new report, “Success at the Ballot Box: Winning Bicycle and Pedestrian Ballot Measures” explores winning ballot measure campaigns and trends that include active transportation components.

For some communities, pairing transit with pedestrian and bicycle projects or roadways is the best way to achieve success at the ballot box. Other communities are required to go with a multi-modal measure by a governmental body. Either way, the rising trend in the United States shows that successful ballot measures include bicycle and pedestrian projects — and there is a great potential to build partnerships between transit and active transportation advocates at the local and state level.

With scholarships from Advocacy Advance, nine advocates currently working on ballot measure campaigns attended – and presented at – the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE)’s Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference. Advocacy Advance continues to support some of these campaigns through its Rapid Response Grant program. From the East Bay to Atlanta, Greenville to New Orleans to Boulder and Tucson, active transportation advocates are taking leading efforts to reform local transportation funding.

(Photo: East Bay Bicycle Coalition)

“It was brilliant to bring bike/ped advocates into the transit conversation,” said Kylie Walzak from the Living Streets Alliance. “I learned so much, met some great local contacts, and am eager to share the experience with our bus and streetcar teams in Tucson.” LSA is currently working on a transportation bond that would fund pedestrian safety infrastructure in Tucson.

In the new report, we take a look at some examples of how bicycle and pedestrian advocates across the country are getting involved or leading ballot measure campaigns to improve transportation choices and investment. There are steps for developing your campaign, tips for partnering with transit advocates, and profiles of past and present campaigns. The Alliance and Advocacy Advance also explored this topic on a recent Mutual Aid Call, “Working with Transit to Win Ballot Measures.”


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