This national award is determined by a nationwide vote. CAST YOUR VOTE HERE!
Finalists for the People’s Choice award include state or local bicycle advocacy organizations whose “exemplary work” significantly improved bicycling in their communities though infrastructure or programs that helped make bicycling more “accessible to all”.
Last year, Bike East Bay won the inaugural People’s Choice Award for their 40 year (!) campaign to win bicycle access on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System. BART began service in 1972 with no provision for access by bicyclists – Bike East Bay (back then known as the East Bay Bicycle Coalition) was founded that same year with the specific goal of gaining bicycle access on BART. It wasn’t until 2013 that BART permanently removed the long-time rush-hour bike ban – finally providing equal access for bicyclists.
The nine national finalists for the 2015 People’s Choice Award are:
- The Bicycle Coalition of Maine grew its statewide advocacy program, Community Spokes, a network of over 75 passionate local bicycle and pedestrian advocates working to make their communities and the state a better place to ride or walk. The Bicycle Coalition also hosted its second annual Bike Maine ride, a week-long tour of the state which contributed an estimated $395,000 in direct economic benefits to the communities along the 350-mile route.
- Bike Delaware strategic funding campaign – Walkable Bikeable Delaware – helped win $30 million in new and discretionary state and federal funding for cycling and walking over four state budget cycles. Also thanks to the help of Bike Delaware and its partners, Delaware has leapt up in the Bicycle Friendly State rankings and is now ranked 4th in the country.
- Bike Pittsburgh started 2014 off with a bang with the city being named as a Green Lane 2.0 city in March and installed their first three protected bike lane projects in September. In addition through the organization’s advocacy, seven new miles of traditional painted bike lanes and sharrows were added, bringing the citywide grand total to 65 miles. Bike Pittsburgh also hosted its first Open Streets event and its 10th annual BikeFest.
- Bike Walk RVA, a program of the Sports Backers in Richmond, VA, launched its Connect RVA campaign. Bike Walk RVA worked closely with City Council and the community to build support for increased funding, and in June secured a combined $4.5 million in the city budget for new bikeway and trails projects (up from $50,000 in the Mayor’s proposed budget). The City has started installing buffered bike lanes and moving towards implementing a bike share system.
- Cascade Bicycle Club saw Seattle’s City Council unanimously pass the updated Bicycle Master Plan, setting the stage for almost 475 miles of all ages and abilities infrastructure across the city. The Second Avenue Protected Bike Lane also opened, and within after the installation of the new protected bike lane, ridership increased to an average of 1,099 bicyclists a day–three times the daily number of bicyclists that had previously used the former one-way bike lane!
- Georgia Bikes, a statewide advocacy organization, saw the growth of more Bicycle Friendly Communities, Universities, and Businesses in the Peach State in 2014. Georgia Bikes also coordinated a hugely successful, 9th annual Ride to the Capitol, drawing hundreds of bicyclists to the state capitol in Atlanta to rally for better bicycling.
- GObike Buffalo hosted its first ever SkyRide, a ride that highlighted bicycle infrastructure throughout the city and included a ride over the Skyway, a 1.4 mile long, 110 ft high freeway bridge, that was closed for the first time ever to cars and opened to more than 900 bicyclists. GObike also secured funding matched by the City to update Buffalo’s Bicycle Master Plan.
- Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition celebrated its 5 year anniversary in 2014 and secured $750,000 in the city’s budget for protected bikeways; delivered over 3,400 postcards in support of protected bikeways to City Hall; and hosted six Open Streets events with 40,000 participants and 500 volunteers.
- San Diego County Bicycle Coalition hosted CicloSDias – San Diego’s only open streets event – and opened the streets to more than 25,000 people to safely bike, walk, and explore local businesses. The Bicycle Coalition’s Executive Director also became the Committee Chair of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and will guide the strategic vision for the Bicycle Master Plan by working directly with elected officials and decision makers.